Many from within his party and even his opponents have said that the “good work” done by Congress candidate for Hangal Srinivas Mane, MLC, stood him in good stead. He had worked hard in the constituency after his loss in the 2018 Assembly elections and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who was handed out a “shocker” from the electorate of his home district, was quick to attribute the loss in Hangal to Mr. Mane’s individual work. Political observers feel that the rapport Mr. Mane built with the electorate during the pandemic was certainly a contributing factor, but not the sole reason for his victory.
“Candidate’s image is one factor, but we had to answer questions on price rise and other developments,” said a BJP worker on condition of anonymity.
Chairman of the KPCC Campaign Monitoring Committee for Hangal and former Minister H.K. Patil termed Mr. Mane “a good legislator” who had done tremendous service during the pandemic when the ruling party failed to even admit the miseries that it had inflicted upon the commoners through its wrong policies.
Congress leaders, including Mr. Patil, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, during the campaign, had highlighted the issue of price rise and welfare measures that had been discontinued by the BJP Government. These factors, apart from the anger against BJP nominee Shivaraj Sajjanar with regard to handling of affairs of cooperative sugar mill at Sangur, also worked in favour of the Congress, said a BJP leader.
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