Tejasvi Surya faces stiff challenge from Sowmya Reddy in Bangalore South


PTI, Apr 17, 2024, 11:59 AM IST

BJP youth wing chief and current MP Tejasvi Surya, who is seeking re-election from the prestigious Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat, is facing a spirited challenge from Sowmya Reddy of the Congress.

The 41-year-old Sowmya, daughter of Minister Ramalinga Reddy, is a former MLA from Jayanagar here and lost the Assembly elections last year by a mere 16 votes.

Spread across eight Assembly constituencies, Bengaluru South has been a BJP bastion since 1991. In the 2023 Assembly elections, the BJP won five of them and Congress in three.

In fact since 1977, Congress has won here only once when former Chief Minister late R Gundu Rao emerged victorious in the 1989 elections.

A constituency with a significant Brahmin population, it had been represented mostly by members of the community.

Hoping to turn the tide against the BJP, the ruling Congress in Karnataka has put all its might behind Sowmya with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar leaving no stone unturned to boost her electoral prospects.

The Congress is banking heavily on its five guarantees and Sowmya being the Transport Minister’s daughter highlights how the ‘Shakti’ guarantee has allowed women to travel in non-luxury government buses across the state free of cost.

“Do you travel in buses? Which places have you visited in the recent past? Do you pay or travel for free?” Sowmya asked women voters during a recent roadshow.

During canvassing, Sowmya also makes it a point to tell people about the four other guarantees ‘Gruha Lakshmi’, ‘Gruha Jyoti’, ‘Yuva Nidhi’ and ‘Anna Bhagya’. “Who brought ‘Achchhe Din’? Is it Congress or the BJP? Which ‘Achchhe Din’ you will vote for?”

Like many other BJP candidates, Surya underlines the strides made by the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past ten years, during his meetings with voters.

“Ten years ago, when you look at the state of our economy, the white paper very clearly mentions in detail the state of the country’s economy. We were counted among the most fragile economies in the world. Today, we are one of the top five economies. This journey from fragile five to top five captures how our institutions were strengthened,” Surya said.

The 33-year-old Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president had been conducting talks by right wing intellectuals, especially those affiliated with RSS and ‘Sangh Parivar’ in his constituency.

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