With the Bharatiya Janata Party looking to spread its wings in the Southern parts of India, the Lok Sabha Polls 2019 results will make the picture clear whether there had been a saffron surge in the southern states or is it still a big dream for the party. After seven long and grueling phases of campaigning across the country, the voting for the 38-day 2019 Lok Sabha elections ended on May 19 at 6 pm. The exit polls started trickling in after 6:30 pm and it seemed like a clean sweep for the BJP in Karnataka, the DMK-Congress alliance in Tamil Nadu and the Congress-led UDF in Kerala. Four surveys, News Nation, Times Now-VMR, India Today-Axis and Today's Chanakya, have predicted similar outcomes for the three southern states.
K Chandrasekhara Rao's Telengana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is likely to improve its performance in the just-ended Lok Sabha elections as the IANS-CVOTER exit poll projected 14 seats for it out of Telangana's total 17 Lok Sabha constituencies.
Prominent contestants in the Lok Sabha poll from Karnataka include former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda (Tumkur), his grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Hassan and Mandya respectively, as also Union Minister Sadananda Gowda (Bangalore North) and senior Congress leaders Verappa Moily (Chikkaballapura) and K H Muniyappa (Kolar).
Other candidates include actress and independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh (Mandya) and Tejasvi Surya (Bangalore South), who was given BJP ticket at the final moment, denying it to Union Minister Ananth Kumar’s widow Tejaswini.
A key constituency is Mandya where Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil is making his electoral debut against another debutant Sumalatha, widow of actor-turned politician M H Ambareesh.
Mandya saw a bitterly fought campaign with Kumaraswamy devoting most of his time to the constituency to ensure his son’s victory against Sumalatha. Sumalatha has the backing of the BJP, Kannada film personalities, besides local Congress leaders who are disgruntled about their party supporting JD(S), which has been their arch rival for decades.
Spotlight was also on Tumkur where Kumaraswamy’s father and former Prime Minister and H D Deve Gowda is contesting for the first time, after vacating the Hassan Lok Sabha seat from where he had been contesting to his other grandson Prajwal Revanna.
Prajwal too seems to be facing a tough battle in Hassan with former Congress Minister A Manju as his opponent from the BJP. Several Congress leaders there are also miffed over ceding the seat to JD(S).
The battle for three constituencies in Bangalore (North, South and central) are also interesting, where there is direct contest between the Congress and BJP, which has a strong support base in these urban seats.
Other key seats are Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur, where the Congress-JD(S) combine is hoping to cause a dent to BJP’s continued dominance, taking advantage of “anti-incumbency” against saffron party candidates Nalin Kumar Kateel and Shobha Karandlaje respectively, who are seeking re-election.
1. Kolar (2014 Result: Congress, Winner: KH Muniyappa, Margin: 47,850)
2019 candidates: S Muniswamy (BJP) Vs KH Muniyappa (Congress)
KH Muniyappa of Congress has been winning the Kolar seat since 1991 and will try to win it for a record eighth term. In 2014, Muniyappa defeated JDS candidate Kolar Kesava by over 47,000 votes. BJP has fielded S Muniswamy against Muniyappa this time.
2. Mandya (2014 Result: JDS, Winner: CS Puttaraju, Margin: 5,518)
2019 candidates: Sumalatha (BJP-backed Independent) Vs Nikhil Gowda (JDS)
The Congress-JDS combine is bracing for a tough contest in Mandya after the BJP has taken a decision to support independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh. In the last seven elections, Ambareesh won the seat thrice in 1998, 1999 and 2004. The Congress decided to leave the seat for HD Deve Gowda's grandson Nikhil Gowda and denied ticket to Ambareesh's wife Sumalatha. In 2014, JDS candidate CS Puttaraju defeated Congress candidate Ramya, who won the seat in a 2013 bypoll, by a slim margin of over 5,000 votes.
3. Hassan (2014 Result: JDS, Winner: HD Deve Gowda, Margin: 1,00,462)
2019 candidates: A Manju (BJP) Vs Prajwal Revanna (JDS)
JDS supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda has left his stronghold Hassan for his grandson Prajwal Revanna. Deve Gowda represented the seat five times in 1991, 1998, 2004, 2009 and 2014. In 2014, Deve Gowda defeated BJP's A Manju by over 1 lakh votes. In 1999, Putta Swamy Gowda defeated Deve Gowda and wrested the seat for the Congress party. The BJP never won the seat.
4. Udupi Chikmagalur (2014 Result: BJP, Winner: Shobha Karandlaje, Margin: 1,81,643)
2019 candidates: Shobha Karandlaje (BJP) Vs Pramod Madhwaraj (JDS)
BJP's Shobha Karandlaje will be locking horns with JDS candidate Pramod Madhwaraj this time in Udupi-Chikmagalur. In 2014, Karandlaje defeated Congress party's Jayaprakash Hegde by a handsome margin of more than 1,80,000 votes. In 2009, BJP's DV Sadananda Gowda won the seat but Jayaprakash Hegde won it for the Congress party in a 2012 bypoll.
5. Mysore (2014 Result: BJP, Winner: Pratap Simha, Margin: 31,608)
2019 candidates: Pratap Simha (BJP) Vs CH Vijayashankar (Congress)
BJP's Pratap Simha is again contesting from Mysore and facing former BJP leader CH Vijayashankar. In 2014, Simha defeated Congress candidate AH Vishwanath by over 30,000 votes. The JDS candidate got more than 1,35,000 votes that time. Vijayashankar won the seat twice in 1998 and 2004 on a BJP ticket whereas Congress party's Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar represented the seat in 1984, 1989, 1996 and 1999.
6. Tumkur (2014 Result: Congress, Winner: SP Muddahanumegowda, Margin: 74,041)
2019 candidates: GS Basavaraj (BJP) Vs HD Deve Gowda (JDS)
Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda is locked in a difficult contest against BJP's GS Basavaraj in Tumkur. In 2014, the seat was won by the Congress candidate when Muddahanumegowda defeated BJP's Basavaraj by over 74,000 votes. Basavaraj represented the seat four times in 1984, 1989 and 1999 as a Congress candidate and in 2009 as a BJP candidate. BJP's S Mallikarjunaiah won the seat thrice in 1991, 1998 and 2004.
7. Chikballapur (2014 Result: Congress, Winner: Veerappa Moily, Margin: 9,520)
2019 candidates: BN Bache Gowda (BJP) Vs Veerappa Moily (Congress)
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Veerappa Moily managed to win Chikballapur in 2014 with a slim margin of over 9,000 votes against BJP's BN Bache Gowda. Moily will be facing Gowda yet again. The BJP never won the seat in its electoral history whereas the Congress lost it only once in 1996. Moily won the seat in 2009 also while RL Jalappa represented the seat four times in a row in 1996 on a Janata Dal ticket and in 1998, 1999 and 2004 on a Congress ticket.
8. Bangalore South (2014 Result: BJP, Winner: Ananth Kumar, Margin: 2,28,575)
2019 candidates: Tejaswi Surya (BJP) Vs BK Hariprasad (Congress)
Bangalore South will witness an interesting contest between BJP's young candidate Tejaswi Surya and senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad. Former Union minister Ananth Kumar won the seat six times (1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014) in a row before his death. In 2014, Ananth Kumar defeated Congress party's Nandan Nilekani by a massive margin of over 2,28,000 votes. The BJP won the seat for the maximum number of times and is considered as one of the strongholds of the party.
9. Bangalore North (2014 Result: BJP, Winner: DV Sadananda Gowda, Margin: 2,29,764)
2019 candidates: DV Sadananda Gowda (BJP) Vs Krishna Byre Gowda (Congress)
The BJP has been winning the Bangalore North seat since last three elections and Union Minister and former chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda won it in 2014. Gowda defeated Congress candidate Narayana Swamy by close to 2,30,000 votes. Congress veteran CK Jaffer Sharief represented the seat for the party seven times in 1977, 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1998 and 1999.
10. Bijapur (2014 Result: BJP, Winner: Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, Margin: 69,819)
2019 candidates: Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi (BJP) Vs Sunitha Devanand Chavan (JDS)
BJP candidate Ramesh Jigajinagi will try to win the Bijapur Lok Sabha seat for the third conscutive time. In 2014, Jigajinagi defeated Congress leader Prakash Rathod by over 69,000 votes. He represented the seat in 2009 also. In the last seven elections, the BJP won the seat four times in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. The Congress represented the constituency in 1991 and 1998 whereas the Janata Dal won it in 1996.
11. Gulbarga (2014 Result: Congress, Winner: Mallikarjun Kharge, Margin: 74,733)
2019 candidates: Umesh G Jadhav (BJP) Vs Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress)
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge won the seat in 2014 by defeating BJP's Revunaik Belamagi. Kharge also won the seat in 2009. The BJP was able to win Gulbarga only once in 1998. The Congress represented the seat 1989, 1991, 1999 and 2004 also. Kharge is facing a tough battle this time with BJP's Umesh Jadhav in Gulbarga.
12. Shimoga (2014 Result: BJP, Winner: BS Yeddyurappa, Margin: 3,63,305)
2019 candidates: BY Raghavendra (BJP) Vs Madhu Bangarappa (JDS)
Shimoga has been BJP's bastion and the party will again try to retain it. In 2014, BJP's stalwart and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa won the seat with a massive margin of over 3,60,000 votes. In a 2018 bypoll, Yeddyurappa's son BS Raghvendra retained the seat even after the Congress-JDS alliance in the state. Raghvendra had represented the constituency in 2009 also and is again contesting on a BJP ticket. Former chief minister S Bangarappa represented the seat four times in 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2005. Bangarappa's son Madhu Bangarappa will again take on Raghavendra after his defeat against him a 2018 bypoll.
13. Uttara Kannada (2014 Result: BJP, Winner: Anant Kumar Hegde, Margin: 1,40,700)
2019 candidates: Anant Kumar Hegde (BJP) Vs Anand Asnotikar (JDS)
In 2014, BJP's Anant Kumar Hegde defeated Congress candidate Prashant Deshpande by a margin of over 1,40,000 votes. The constituency was known as Kanara before the 2009 delimitation process. Hegde won the seat five times in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2009 and 2014. Congress leader Margaret Alva won it in 1999.