Karnataka set for triangular fight

435 candidates in fray for 28 LS seats

Karnataka set for  triangular fight

The stage is set for the big battle in the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka on April 17. The contest promises to be a triangular fight among the ruling Congress, the BJP and the Janata Dal (S) in several of the 28 constituencies.

While the Congress and the BJP have fielded candidates in all the constituencies, the JD(S) has put up its nominees in 25 seats.

Surprisingly,  former minister Shivananda Naik, who should have been the JD (S) nominee from Uttara Kannada seat, withdrew from the fray.

His  move paved the way for a direct contest between sitting MP Ananth Kumar Hegde of the BJP and first time contestant  Prashanth Deshpande, son of Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande, of the Congress.

After the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended at 3 pm on Saturday, in all, 435 candidates remained in the fray with 109 candidates withdrawing their nominations.  New entrant, the Aam Aadmi Party, has fielded candidates from all the 28 constituencies.

The ruling Congress has fielded several veterans such as former chief minister Dharam Singh from Bidar, Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge from Gulbarga, M Veerappa Moily from Chikkaballapur and K H Muniyappa from Kolar constituencies. A reluctant entrant is Sugar Minister Prakash Hukkeri from  Chikkodi.

The Congress has also fielded a political greenhorn - with no electoral past  by way of personal experience or lineage - Nandan Nilekani from Bangalore South constituency. He has locked horns with BJP national secretary and sitting MP Ananth Kumar.

The BJP has fielded heavyweights in the form of two former chief ministers, D V Sadananda Gowda from Bangalore North and B S Yeddyurappa from Shimoga.

The party has also fielded State president Pralhad Joshi from Dharwad and B Sreeramalu, close associate of the jailed Janardhan Reddy, from Bellary.

The JD(S) has the unique distinction of fielding a former prime minister and a former chief minister - the father-son duo H D Deve Gowda from his  home turf Hassan and H D Kumaraswamy, who is trying his luck from Chikkaballapur.

The party has also fielded its State president A Krishnappa from Tumkur and former chief minister S Bangarappa’s daughter Geetha Shivarajkumar from Shimoga. The elections will see several kin of politicians also trying it out to get elected to the 16th Lok Sabha.

The Congress nominees include DK Suresh, brother of Energy Minister DK Shivakumar, from Bangalore Rural. The JD(S) has fielded the late former chief minister J H Patel’s son, Mahima Patel, from Davangere.

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