The saga of dual candidature in Karnataka politics

The saga of dual candidature in Karnataka politics

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G Parameshwara and JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy are now set to join the list of politicians, who have contested polls from more than one seat.

This time, Kumaraswamy was the first to announce his candidature from two seats - Ramanagaram, which he currently represents, and Channapatna, which is considered to be the JD(S)' stronghold in the old Mysore region.

Siddaramaiah is considering contesting from Badami in Bagalkot district, where Kurubas (the community to which the chief minister belongs to) are large in number. This is besides Chamundeshwari, where it is now widely said that the chance of Siddaramaiah's victory is bleak. Similarly, Parameshwara is said to be exploring 'a safer seat' besides Koratagere, where he faced defeat in the 2013 polls.

Gowda, the pioneer

Former prime minister and JD(S) National president H D Deve Gowda was the first politician to contest from two seats simultaneously, political analyst S Mahadeva Prakash points out. "In 1985, Gowda contested from Holenarasipur and erstwhile Sathanur in Kanakapura. It was an interesting election for him in Holenarasipur, where he took on his friend G Puttaswamy Gowda, who had rebelled. Gowda won both seats."

Gowda, however, lost Holenarasipura to Puttaswamy Gowda and Kanakapura to P G R Sindhia, when he contested from the same two seats for the second time in 1989. Gowda, for the third time, chose two constituencies - Kanakapura and Hassan - during the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. He won from Hassan, but lost Kanakapura to Tejaswini Gowda.

Former chief minister S Bangarappa also contested from two seats in the 2004 Assembly elections. "Bangarappa took on B S Yeddyurappa in Shikaripura and lost. But he won from Soraba, his second option.

In 1999, former AICC president Sonia Gandhi chose Bellary Lok Sabha constituency besides Raebareli, which is considered the Gandhi family's pocket borough. She won both, but retained Raebareli.

"Generally, contesting from two seats is a clear indication of one's vulnerability on home turf. Candidates losing confidence of winning from their own constituency dates back to 1962, when chief ministerial face S Nijalingappa lost to an unknown T G Rangappa in Hosadurga," explains Prakash.

The Election Commission of India told the Supreme Court recently that a candidate should not be allowed to contest from two constituencies. This is 'an injustice to the voters of the constituency, which the candidate decides to forfeit," its affidavit stated.

 

 

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