N'gud bypoll: Pride at stake for Prasad, Siddaramaiah

N'gud bypoll: Pride at stake for Prasad, Siddaramaiah

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has set the ball rolling for the bypoll to Nanjangud Assembly constituency by announcing poll schedule. Bypoll to Nanjangud seat was necessitated following the resignation of sitting MLA Srinivas Prasad.

In the bypoll scheduled for April 9, the stakes are high for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his friend-turned-foe Srinivas Prasad. The political war horses are going all out in their battle of one-upmanship.

Prasad, once the close associate of Siddaramaiah, resigned as MLA after he was unceremoniously dropped from the Cabinet. He later joined BJP and is contesting from the seat from the saffron party.    

As Prasad has a strong political base in the constituency, Congress roped in one of the prominent faces in the constituency. The Congress leaders plucked Kalale Keshavamurthy from JD(S) in a bid to field him in the bypoll. However, the party is yet to make an official announcement in this regard. 

According to Congress party sources, the CM would launch poll campaign and announce its candidate at a rally to be held in Nanjangud town on Sunday.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara, Public Works Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa and other ministers would attend the rally to campaign for the party’s candidate.

Though the Congress is yet to make an official announcement on the party’s candidate, Kalale Keshavamurthy has already started touring the constituency and is in regular touch with the party leaders, according to sources.

Earlier, there were talks about fielding Public Works Minister Dr Mahadevappa or Chamarajanagar MP R Dhruvanarayan. However, the party leaders finally decided to field Keshavamurthy against Prasad learning about his popularity in the region and his political base in the constituency. During the previous Assembly election in 2013, Keshavamurthy gave Prasad a tough fight before losing the battle by a small margin of 8,900 votes.

While Congress is yet to make a formal announcement, BJP has already announced Srinivas Prasad as it’s candidate. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa is expected to launch the campaign from Sunday. The party leaders will hold a roadshow across the constituency.

Srinivas Prasad, exuding confidence over winning the poll, said that he has explained to his supporters why he resigned as MLA and quit Congress party. “I am sure that voters will teach a lesson to CM Siddaramaiah,” he said.

It may be mentioned that a large number of supporters in the constituency and thousands of people attended ‘Swabhimana Samavesha’, a show of strength by Srinivas Prasad, recently.