NEW DELHI: With Karnataka elections just weeks away, the BJP is looking for a “quantum jump” in its tally in the Old Mysuru region to keep the reins of power in the southern state, banking on its strategy to win over a chunk of Vokkaliga votes. The old Mysuru region is politically crucial for BJP which is aiming to expand beyond its Lingayat vote base.The region has as many as 55 assembly seats out of the total 224 constituencies in the state.Due to the heavy concentration of Vokkaliga votes in the region, the JD(S) won a lion’s share of the seats here in the 2018 elections.Out of the 55 odd seats, JD(S) secured victories in 28 and Congress clinched 17. The BJP could only win 9 seats. Sore point for BJPThe Janata Dal (Secular) has traditionally performed well in the region due to strong influence of its leader and former prime minister Deve Gowda, especially among the dominant Vokkaliga community. The Congress has been another main force here.For BJP, however, the southern Karnataka region has long been a sore point, especially in the assembly polls.In 2023, it is hoping to make strong gains in the region after its aggressive expansion moves by winning over several influential local leaders.”We will make a quantum jump in our tally in the region and retain power in the state with a big majority,” a confident BJP general secretary Arun Singh, who is also in charge of the party’s affairs in Karnataka, had said earlier this year.Notably, the BJP is fielding as many as 42 Vokkaliga leaders in the 2023 assembly elections with an eye on the community vote.Prominent candidates who have filed their nomination papers in Mysuru region are JD(S) leader GT Devegowda (Chamundeshwari), Congress candidate Mavinahalli Siddegowda (Chamundeshwari), BJP’s L Nagendra (Chamaraja), BJP’s Sandesh Swamy (Narasimharaja), Congress’ MK Somashekar (Krishnaraja), JD(S) candidate Ashwin Kumar (T Narsipur), BJP’s Dr Revanna (T Narsipur), Congress’ Darshan Dhruvanarayana (Nanjangud), Congress candidate Anil Chikkamadu (HD Kote), JD(S) candidate Jayaprakash Chikkanna (HD Kote).