BJP's greenhorn S Muniswamy said Tuesday he will be able to defeat veteran Congress parliamentarian K H Muniyappa from Kolar Lok Sabha constituency as they are locked in a direct contest and it would be difficult for JD(S) to transfer its core votes to its alliance partner.
Muniswamy, a BBMP corporator from Bengaluru, is banking on a possible discontent among voters with the seven-time Congress parliamentarian, Muniyappa, and on the performance of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
The issue of the closed Bharat Gold Mines Limited is also a factor in the election.
The BJP leader claimed people in the constituency, an SC seat, are unhappy with Muniyappa because he has failed to fulfil the promises he made to them during the past 28 years, including to sort out the PSU's long-pending issues.
Also, he added, Muniyappa "faces an uphill task" of transferring the votes that were cornered by JD(S) and other smaller parties in a three-way contest in 2014 polls to himself.
There were nearly 15 lakh voters registered in Kolar during the last general election and Muniyappa beat the JD(S) candidate by receiving 37.20 per cent of the total votes cast then. The constituency had seen a 75.51 per cent voter turnout in 2014.
"Though Muniyappa won Kolar in last election, he lost six lakh votes in a three-way contest between Congress, BJP and JD(S). Due to JD(S)-Congress coalition seat-sharing formula, there is a straight fight between Congress and BJP.
Kolar will vote on April 18.
"In every election, Muniyappa promises to reopen the closed Bharat Gold Mines Ltd (BGML), but he does not fulfil it. Also, he has not done enough to solve the water problem (in the area). Yettinahole project is still incomplete. People are angry and have decided to vote Muniyappa out," he asserted.
BGML was closed in March 2001 and a few years later the Union Cabinet decided to dispose of assets and liabilities of the company. But the matter is stuck because of litigations.
And Yettinahole Integrated Drinking Water Project proposes to supply 24.01 tmcft of water from Yettinahole, a stream, to drought-prone Kolar district and others in the region.
Sudhakar Reddy, a former Congress MLA and popular leader in Kolar, said Muniyappa has not done anything for the district, but promoted his daughter during the last assembly election.
Muniswamy said the response for BJP's rallies and roadshows have been tremendous because of Modi government's performance, which has worked for the betterment of all sections of society with "Sab Ka Saath, Sabka Vikas" slogan.
"You must have seen the kind of response we are getting in rallies. There is an unabated 'Modi Modi' chant. There is Modi wave. Nobody can deny it. Nobody chants for a failed leader. He has done enough for all communities. People have made up their mind to vote Modi back to power," he said.
Muniyappa, the Congress candidate, is facing rebels from Kothur Manjunath and H Nagesh. Even Reddy shared a stage with the rebel leaders at the public rally recently.
Muniyappa however clarified that all the MLAs except Manjunath are supporting him.
"Congress is a large party and there will be differences, but everything has been resolved," he said.
The constituency has a significant number of SC community voters. Vokkaligas, Kuruba, minority communities and Tamil-Telugu speaking sections, can tilt the balance.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)