The money power that played during earlier elections in Ballari is missing since the Karnataka Assembly elections held in 2018.
The Reddy brothers – Janardhana, Karunakara and Somashekara – of Ballari, and B Sriramalu, who had heavy clout in the region due to money and muscle power, seem to be fading into oblivion. This was evident when J Shanta, former MP and sister of Sriramalu, suffered a humiliating defeat in the 2018 by-elections to the Lok Sabha. VS Ugrappa of the Congress wrested the seat with a majority of 2.10 lakh votes.
The Congress has again fielded Ugrappa, while the BJP has chosen Y Devendrappa, who was with the Congress and is a close relative of the Jarkiholis, as its candidates. The BJP choice seems to signal the end of the stranglehold of the Reddy brothers and Sriramalu. In addition, Sriramalu, who used to oversee the BJP election machinery in Ballari, has been replaced by Jagadish Shettar, an outsider.
The Congress seems to be slowly regaining the ground it lost in 2014.