Cong, BJP grapple with ticket aspirants for byelections

Cong, BJP grapple with ticket aspirants for byelections

Lobbying for tickets for bypolls to three Assembly constituencies of  Hebbal, Bidar and Deodurg has intensified in the Congress and the BJP. 

Notification for the byelections will be issued on January 20 marking the beginning of filing of nomination papers. Elections will be held on February 13.

Deodurg MLA A Venkatesh Naik of the Congress died in a train accident in August, while  BJP leaders Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli (Bidar constituency) and Jagadish Kumar (Hebbal) died following heart attack in November last.

In Hebbal, Congress MLCs Byrathi Suresh, H M Revanna, R V Venkatesh are vying for tickets.

Former Union minister Jaffer Sharief’s grandson Rahaman Sharief, who lost the 2013 polls by a margin of 5,500 votes and Youth Congress chief Rizwan Arshad, former mayor M Ramachandrappa are also in the aspirants’ list. 

On Sunday, Revanna met senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and is said to have explained why the party should consider him for the constituency.

In the BJP, there is a divide among party leaders whether the ticket should be given to former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu’s family. Jagadish Kumar had contested the 2013 polls after Katta was not given a ticket following corruption charges against him.

A section of  party city MLAs want Katta’s wife Lalitha or his daughter-in-law Sowmya Jagadish (former corporator Katta Jagadish’s wife) to be given the ticket.

Former police officer Abdul Azeem, who joined the BJP recently and party MLC Y Narayanaswamy have also emerged as aspirants. Azeem contested the 2013 on a JD(S) ticket and secured 25,075 votes.

In the JD(S), party city unit chief H M Ramesh Gowda and Hanumanthegowda (who contested unsuccessfully from neighbouring Bytarayanapura Assembly segment) have emerged as front runners.

In Deodurg, the Congress is keen on tapping the sympathy factor and give the party ticket to Naik’s wife Savithridevi or his son Rajashekar Naik.

The BJP has shortlisted two former ministers Shivanagouda Naik and Narasimha Naik. The party election committee, which is scheduled to meet in Bengaluru on Monday, is likely to take a final decision.

Up north in Bidar, there is a divided opinion in the BJP whether the ticket should be given to Gurupadappa’ son Suryakanth. While Suryakanth has good rapport with leaders B S Yeddyurappa, R Ashoka among others, he is not popular among party cadre in his own district, sources in the party said.

In the  Congress, Rahim Khan, who contested unsuccessfully and lost by 1,800 votes in 2013 has emerged as a front runner.  Khan has the backing of former chief minister N Dharam Singh.

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