For most part of the last two decades, Karnataka has been defined by Bangalore’s IT sector and the IT sector of the city has been defined by its flagship company – Infosys Limited.
And so it was that a media frenzy broke out when a former CEO and a former CFO of the company shed their business suits for Khadi and entered electoral politics.
The entry of Nandan Nilekani (Congress ) and V Balakrishnan (AAP) was hailed as a generational shift and the beginning of an alternate political model.
Both the debutants have now suffered a massive drubbing. Both have been made aware that running an electoral campaign is very different from making the bourses rally on the stock market. But far from running away, both appear more determined than ever.
By noon when his BJP rival Ananth Kumar’s lead seemed insurmountable, Nandan Nilekani arrived at the Bangalore South counting centre and announced that "this is just the beginning" for him. He said that results are a disappointing but not a major setback as he is in politics for the "long run".
State PCC sources said that Nilekani would be nominated to the Rajya Sabha and play a key role in the national level restructuring of the party.
However, his defeat has once again brought focus on the style of functioning of his core campaign team, Together With Nandan, which many Congress party workers felt was aloof and elitist. A State PCC worker disdainfully said, "This American style campaign can have only limited appeal. His core team made a mistake by not coordinating properly with the party."
Nandan’s team, however, laughed the comment off. "It was Nandan against NaMo. There was a national wave for the BJP. We would have won in any other situation," said one campaign manager.
Meanwhile, Balakrishnan is also making future plans. "Getting nearly 36,000 votes is a good start. It shows the AAP has a base. This will prove crucial in the upcoming city corporation elections. My engagement with AAP is long term."