Trouble in JD(S) over Mandya candidate for Council polls

Party decides to contest 19 seats, pins hope on six in Vokkaliga belt

After a great deal of dithering, the JD(S) on Wednesday took a final call to field candidates in only 19 out of the 25 seats, for the upcoming elections to the Legislative Council from local bodies constituencies.

Of the 19 seats, the party is however betting on only six seats - Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan, Tumakuru, Kolar, and Bengaluru Rural, - considered Vokkaliga belt. Like Congress, the JD(S) too is grappling internal bickering over allotment of tickets.

Tuesday’s development with regard to selection of candidate in Mandya, has left senior party leader and MLA, N Cheluvaraswamy, upset.

The MLA on Wednesday openly hit out at JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and the party State president H D Kumaraswamy for “sidelining” him and issuing ‘B ‘form to party worker Appaji Gowda, who is a Bengaluru-based realtor and former syndicate member of both Visvesvaraya Technological Institute and Bangalore University. In a veiled threat, he said that if the party does not reconsider its decision, he will not take the lead in electioneering.

Cheluvaraswamy, who was backing sitting MLC B Ramakrishna, told the media that the father-son duo had not taken him into confidence, despite the recent assurances made to the dissident leaders in the party. He said that as Ramakrishna had spent Rs three crore during the gram panchayat elections, the party had assured him a ticket this time too.

‘Strong blow’

“I have been dealt a strong blow by Gowda. Appaji Gowda is willing to make way for Ramakrishna. But the party leaders are determined to make matters difficult for me.  Efforts are on to bring in an alternative leader in my constituency. I will not take responsibility if the party loses this seat,” he said, adding that Gowda and Kumaraswamy were directly responsible for the fresh trouble in the party.

The party leaders are however not too worried about the rebellion. Sources said that a collective decision had been arrived at while zeroing in on Appaji Gowda, as Gowda and Kumaraswamy had held consultations with district MLAs D C Thammanna (Maddur), Ramesh Bandisiddegowda (Srirangapatna) and Narayangowda (KR Pet), and Lok Sabha member C S Puttaraju. None of the leaders are happy with Cheluvarayaswamy, who is said to be losing a grip on his own constituency Nagamangala.

The party has fielded sitting MLC Sandesh Nagaraj in Mysuru, Patel Shivaram in Hassan, Kantharaj in Tumakuru, C R Manohar in Kolar, and sitting MLC E Krishnappa in Bengaluru Rural.

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