Can Munirathna dodge Vokkaliga bullet?

Bengaluru: With the last vote cast in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar byelection on Monday, the wait for May 31 when the votes will be counted has started but going by the indications emerging from the Vokkaliga dominated constituency, this time it's no easy ride for contractor turned politico, the Congress candidate Muniratna.

Reason – he has to contend with two Vokkaliga candidates-G.H. Ramachandra of  JD(S) and T. Muniraju Gowda of the BJP apart from overcoming the fallout of the voter ID scam with an FIR already filed against him after more than 9,000 voter ID cards were recovered from an apartment prior to the polls.

His image has taken a serious beating after he allegedly manhandled three women BBMP corporators a few years ago with the incident coming back to haunt him  during the poll. The three corporators- two of JD(S) and one of the Congress- are all Vokkaligas. There are reports that the powerful Adichunchanagiri Math as well as the Vokkaligara Sangha are determined to see him defeated. 

A triangular fight had become inevitable in RR Nagar after the efforts of the JD(S)-Congress coalition to put up a joint candidate fizzled out and this should have worked to the advantage of the BJP candidate, Muniraju Gowda. However, the low turnout-54%- provides a ray of hope to Muniratna with the  upper and middle class Vokkaligas-who were vocal against him- not turning up at the polling booths.

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