Congress leaders KJ George, NA Haris and Roshan Baig, who were in the cross hairs of the Bharatiya Janata Party during the election campaign in Karnataka, coasted towards victories on Tuesday.
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In an election rally in Bengaluru on May 9, Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for derailing the administration of Bengaluru, and said the city was “in the stranglehold of a troika”. The week before, BJP National President Amit Shah called on voters to make their city “Roshan Baig, KJ George and NA Haris mukt [free]”. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, in an interview to The New Indian Expresson May 10, said he was sure that the people would vote against leaders such as George, Haris and Baig. “To my mind, the die is cast,” he had said.
The electorate, however, voted for the three contrary to the BJP’s expectation. Haris won from Bengaluru’s Shantinagar constituency by 18,205 votes. His poll prospects were expected to be affected by his son Mohammed Haris Nalapad’s arrest in an assault case. George, the minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning, was leading BJP’s MN Reddy by 50,805 votes at 4.05 pm, and Baig was leading BJP’s Katta Subramanya Naidu by 15,734 votes.