Ending speculation, the JD(S), on Tuesday, announced candidates to the two remaining Lok Sabha seats, of the seven it is contesting.
JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda has cleared the names of Sunitha Devanand Chavan and Anand Asnotikar for Bijapur and Uttara Kannada constituencies, respectively.
While Sunitha, a greenhorn, is the wife of JD(S) MLA Devanand Chavan (Nagthan); Asnotikar, a former BJP minister, had unsuccessfully contested the 2018 Assembly elections from Karwar.
Sunitha will take on union minister Ramesh Jigajinagi, a heavyweight, in Bijapur, and Asnotikar will be contesting against BJP’s firebrand leader Ananthkumar Hegde in Uttara Kannada.
As per the seat-sharing pact between the Congress and the JD(S), the regional party had been allotted eight seats. In a last-minute decision, the party gave up the Bangalore North seat to the Congress, as it was unable to zero in on a candidate there.
The party has attracted much flak for indulging in dynasty politics. While Gowda himself is contesting from Tumkur, his grandsons, Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy are contesting from Hassan and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively.
The party has fielded former MLA Madhu Bangarappa in Shimoga and Congress leader Pramod Madhwaraj in Udupi-Chikmagalur. Madhwaraj is contesting the elections on a JD(S) ticket.
The Congress, on its part, has announced candidates for 20 out of the 21 seats it is contesting. The party is yet to finalise the candidate for the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency.
Though former minister Vinay Kulkarni has been lobbying hard for the ticket, the party is unlikely to consider his candidature. Sources said that Shakir Sanadi, son of former MP I G Sanadi and Sadananda Dangannavar, a local leader, have emerged as the frontrunners for the ticket.
BJP, three seats
The BJP, which is fielding candidates in 27 constituencies, is yet to announce candidates for Chikkodi, Koppal and Raichur seats, which are going for polls on April 23.
In Chikkodi, Annasaheb Jolle, husband of Nippani MLA Shashikala Jolle; Ramesh Katti, brother of Hukkeri MLA Umesh Katti and Rajya Sabha MP Prabhakar Kore are vying for the ticket.
Speculations are rife that the party is exploring the possibility of fielding its Molakalmuru MLA B Sriramulu from Koppal. Sriramulu, however, has said that he is not keen on contesting the elections. Though sitting MP Karadi Sanganna has been vying hard for the ticket, the party is unlikely to field him.
In Raichur, names of former MLA Amaresh Naik and Mahadevamma, mother of Devadurga MLA Shivanagouda Naik, are doing the rounds.