As political parties in Karnataka prepare for by-polls to 15 assembly constituencies, JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday predicted that new "political drama" may unfold in the state after October 24 by-election results.
He also said party candidates would be fielded in all the constituencies. "... Party has decided to go it alone in this bypolls. By September 30 nominations have to be filed. In another two days, we will complete the process of selection of candidates, local party workers will be fielded," Kumaraswamy said.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, he said the party's target is to win maximum number of seats and efforts are on to strengthen the organisation and win confidence of the people. "This election is acid test for all political parties, also for the government. Let's see what all new political drama will unfold after October 24 results," he added.
JD(S) that had run a coalition government and contested Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Congress, but has decided to go it alone in this by-polls. By-elections to constituencies represented by 15 out of 17 disqualified former Congress-JD(S) legislators will be held on October 21 and results will be declared on October 24.
Among 15 constituencies that will go for polls, 12 were represented by Congress and 3 by JD(S). Kumaraswamy, his father and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda, also Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah have repeatedly predicted midterm polls in the state, and the fall of B S Yediyurappa lead BJP government. Winning most seats in this by-elections is crucial for BJP to stay in power.
The ruling party has a 105 MLAs (including one independent) in the assembly whose current strength is 208 (after 17 disqualification). While the Congress' strength is 66, JD(S) has 34 MLAs in the Assembly that also consists of one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.
The actual strength of the assembly is 225 and the half way mark is 113. BJP will need to win at least six seats in the bypolls for 15 constituencies that will go for polls, to remain in majority in the assembly, which will still have two vacant seats (Maski and R R Nagar).
Absence and resignation of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs during the trust vote had led to the collapse of the H D Kumaraswamy headed coalition government in July, and helped BJP to come to power.
After examining the petition moved by leadership of both parties, the then assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar had disqualified 17 Congress and JD(S) MLAs and one independent under the anti-defection law, which they have challenged in the Supreme Court.