Cong, JD(S) in race to woo Yogeeshwara ahead of polls

Cong, JD(S) in race to woo Yogeeshwara ahead of polls

Samajwadi Party MLA from Channapatna C P Yogeeshwara, a known party-hopper, is now being wooed by the Congress party. Efforts are on to bring him into the Congress fold to ensure that he does not contest the coming Lok Sabha polls from Bangalore Rural constituency from rival parties, especially JD(S).

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, whose brother D K Suresh is the sitting MP from Bangalore Rural, is said to be mounting pressure on the party leadership to bring the SP MLA back to the Congress. However, Yogeeshwara joining the ruling party hinges on demands placed by him. His demands includes a special fund for development of Channapatna and assurance to field him as the party candidate from there in the next Assembly polls.

Yogeeshwara is a five-time MLA from Channapatna – two times from Congress, once from BJP, once as Independent and now the SP. He has a strong influence in Channapatna and surrounding areas. He wanted to rejoin the Congress during 2013 Assembly elections, but the party refused to take him back. So he contested as a SP candidate and won. However, he had indirectly supported the Congress candidate in the byelection to Bangalore Rural parliamentary constituency in August last year.

The JD(S), which is scouting for a strong candidate to take on Suresh, too has been wooing Yogeeshwara. Shivakumar is said to be trying hard to prevent the SP MLA from joining the JD(S) and pose a threat to his brother. Shivakumar said Yogeeshwara had been doing a good job as MLA and the party would benefit if he rejoins the Congress. The State party leaders have give the green signal in this regard. The party high command’s nod is awaited, he said.

Yogeeshwara, when contacted, said he has offers from all three parties: Congress, BJP and JD(S). “I have not taken any decision as yet. I will consult people of my constituency first,” he said. The Congress has decided to take up a full-fledged election campaign in the State from the day the Election Commission announces the calendar of events for the polls, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundurao said.

Gundurao, who attended the AICC campaign committee meeting in Delhi on Thursday, said the national campaign committee is likely to allow the State leaders to plan and implement strategies in the State. Gundurao and Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda are members of the AICC campaign panel from the State.

Primaries from Friday

Jaspreet Singh and Nitin Kumbhalkar have been appointed the Returning Officers (ROs) by the Congress to conduct primaries (internal polling) to elect the party candidate for Bangalore North constituency. The ROs are likely to commence the process of election from Friday. March 13 is the date of election.

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