Hubballi: Although both the Congress and BJP seem confident of winning from Jamkhandi, the former party appears to have greater confidence in the voters as its candidate, Anand Nyamagouda claimed on the eve of counting on Monday that he would win the byelection by a margin of 15,000 votes.
BJP leaders, on the other hand, put the margin of victory of their candidate, Shrikant Kulkarni, at a much smaller 2,000 to 4,000 votes.
Mr Kulkarni himself seemed anxious as he lodged a complaint with the Election Commission and staged a protest along with his supporters over the use of private vehicles to move the ballot boxes following polling in the constituency. It’s alleged that the vehicles belonged to institutes owned by Congress leader, M B Patil and JD(S) leader, Basavaraj Konnur.
But exuding confidence, Mr Nyamagouda, claimed the support of his Lingayat community, which has a large presence in the constituency and contended that the development work done by his late father, who represented the constituency, would work in his favour too. “The achievements of my father are deeply entrenched in the minds of the voters as he constructed the Chikkapadasalagi barrage by uniting thousands of farmers and not depending on the government. The high voting percentage in the rural areas will help me as farmers of the Krishna basin have voted for me in honour of his memory,” he maintained.
However, BJP leader, Sangamesh Nirani, who had rebelled against the party in the May assembly poll, but decided to back its official candidate in the bypoll, declared that Mr Kulkarni would win by a slender margin due to the high voter turnout in rural areas “where the party has a good support base.”
“The Congress has won more votes in Jamkhandi city which has a large population of Muslims, Ganiga Lingayats and Marathas, but we have done better in the villages, ” he argued.
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