The second-largest constituency by voters in Bengaluru, Yeshwanthpur is going for byelection on December 5, after its sitting MLA ST Somashekar was disqualified for defection earlier this year.
Somashekar was among the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs disqualified by the Speaker, but later allowed to contest bypolls by the Supreme Court. Somashekar is now contesting from Yeshwanthpur as the BJP candidate.
Somashekhar won this seat on a Congress ticket in the 2018 election with a margin of 10,711 votes, and in the 2013 election with a margin of 29,100 votes. In 2008, BJP’s Shobha Karandlaje won this seat with a margin of 1,082 votes.
Apart from the 2008 polls, the fight here has always been between Congress and JD(S). The JD(S)’s candidate this time, TN Javarayi Gowda, has lost two elections to Somashekar in the past.
This time, Gowda says he is confident of a win. Speaking to indianexpress.com, he said, “People are angry with the BJP in this constituency. On the other hand, they know me well and I am confident of winning. Now, people will disqualify the BJP through elections.”
Somashekhar, meanwhile, says he faces no threat from any candidate. “The JD(S) candidate comes to the constituency only during the election time, hence I don’t have any fear of losing this election.” he told indianexpress.com.
Yeshwanthpur constituency comprises areas like Dodda Bidarakallu, Herohalli, Kengeri and parts of RR Nagar. The constituency is suffering from various civic issues, like water crisis, garbage management and bad roads, particularly in residential areas.
Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Yeswanthpur, said, “The main issue here is garbage management. Most of the important roads in the constituency are piled up with unattended garbage. We have not seen any work done by the current MLA, we only saw him on TV when he was in Mumbai.”
Yeshwanthpur constituency has both urban and rural areas, including village panchayats.
Yeshwanthpur segment came into existence after delimitation in 2008, carved out of Magadi and the erstwhile Uttarahalli constituencies.
“Water crisis in the area is worsening, we depend upon costly water tankers. During summers, things get worse. No elected representative has solved this issue,” Prabhakar, a resident of Hemmigepura, said.
The Vokkaliga community dominates the constituency with 1.5 lakh voters. Others with significant presence are Lingayats, Kurubas, and scheduled caste voters.
There are 4, 75,759 registered voters in Yeswanthpur constituency, where 2,46,295 are male, 2,29,424 female and 40 others.
The other three constituencies in Bengaluru to which bypolls are slated for December 5 include Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagar, and KR Puram.