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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress trying to hold on to BJP citadel of Ballari

While the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition is attempting to retain hold of the Ballari Lok Sabha, which it won in the 2018 bypoll, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to wrest control of a constituency that it had considered its stronghold for over a decade.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 24, 2019 08:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
lok sabha elections 2019,ballari LS seat,voting in 3rd phase
The key issue in the Ballari LS constituency is the Congress’s effort to retain the constituency and the BJP trying to wrest it back.(AFP)

The Ballari constituency in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region that recorded 61.83% turnout until 4 pm on Tuesday is one of the crucial seats in the state.

While the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition is attempting to retain hold of the seat, which it won in the 2018 bypoll, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to wrest control of a constituency that it had considered its stronghold for over a decade.

Sitting MP VS Ugrappa of the Congress is pitted against Devedrappa, a former Congress leader, believed to be close to rebel Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi.

No incidents were reported.

Ugrappa had won in 2018, defeating J Shantha, sister of former MP B Sreeramulu by a margin of over 2 lakh votes. The seat fell vacant after Sreeramulu resigned in the aftermath of his victory in the assembly elections last year.

The key issue in the constituency is the Congress’s effort to retain the constituency and the BJP trying to wrest it back.

The Congress victory in the bypoll was a continuation of its resurgence in the district as it built on the six seats it won in the district in the assembly polls. This time around, one of its MLAs, B Nagendra, has rebelled against the party, while another, JN Ganesh, is under arrest for allegedly assaulting fellow Bellary MLA Anand Singh.

If the Congress is a divided house, the BJP has not fared much better as well, as the Devendrappa was seen as a message to the powerful Reddy brothers, the mining barons, that the party was seeking to look beyond them.

First Published: Apr 24, 2019 08:03 IST

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