The Janata Dal (Secular) emerged as the biggest winner on Tuesday in the Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru area, where it won 29 of the 59 seats and where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also managed to make inroads at the cost of the ruling Congress because of an acute farm crisis in the region.
During assembly elections in the past, there had been a straight fight in the region between the Congress and the JD(S). But Tuesdays poll results showed that the gains made by the BJP were largely at the expense of the Congress, while the JD(S) managed to not only consolidate but also increase its tally.
The rally behind the JD(S) was nowhere more starkly in view than in the Chamundeshwari seat in Mysuru district, where chief minister Siddramaiah raised the stakes after shifting from Varuna, a constituency he left for his son Yathindra, who went on to win.
Siddaramaiah was up against a former aide GT Deve Gowda, whom he had defeated by just 250 votes in 2006, when Siddaramaiah switched to the Congress from the JD(S). On Tuesday, Siddaramaiah lost by a margin of around 36,000 votes.
The JD(S) had banked on the consolidation of Vokkaliga votes and it was for this reason that the partys chief ministerial aspirant HD Kumaraswamy contested from two seats in the region — his traditional stronghold Ramanagara and the neighbouring Channapatna, where his wife Anita had been defeated in 2013 by the BJPs Vokkaliga leader CP Yogeshwar, a serial party hopper.