Anita is JD(S) candidate for Ramanagara bypoll

Anita is JD(S) candidate for Ramanagara bypoll

With her candidature finalised by the JD(S), Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, is busy getting her paperwork readied for filing her nominations on Thursday.

Anitha, who will contest the Ramanagara bypoll on a JD(S) ticket, will file her nomination papers on October 11 at 10.45 am.

The former MLA will enter the electoral battlefield for the fourth time in the last 10 years.

Political career

Anitha made her political debut by winning the Madhugiri bypoll in Tumakuru district in 2008. She however wasn't successful in the next two elections she contested.

In 2013 Assembly elections, she lost the Channapatna seat to Yogeeshwara; and in 2014, she was defeated in Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha polls by Congress leader D K Suresh.

Though she was keen on contesting the Assembly elections this year from Channapatna, her husband and her father-in-law -- JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, did not approve her candidature.

Instead, Kumaraswamy himself, contested the Channapatna and Ramanagara seats and later resigned from Ramanagara-- thereby necessitating the bypolls in the 'Silk Town'.

Confident that she will be picked as the JD(S) candidate, Anitha has been frequenting Ramanagara in the last few months.

With an eye on the bypoll; and to ensure his wife's victory, Kumaraswamy himself, visited the district many times.

The irony

The irony is, Kumaraswamy hadn't campaigned for himself in the district during the Assembly elections (except maybe once).

On Tuesday, JD(S)'s Ramanagara taluk president announced that the party had finalised Anitha's candidature heeding to the demands of the party workers.

However, one worker present at the press meet, took objection to the same.

"You say that the workers want her to contest. But have you ever taken our opinion? What has she achieved for the party? Aren't there better candidates in the constituency?" said Appaji Gowda, much to the chagrin of the local leaders.

Coalition conflict

Meanwhile, the Congress's decision to allow the JD(S) to contest the Ramanagara bypolls, has not gone down well with the local leaders.

Iqbal Hussain, who contested and lost to Kumaraswamy in the Assembly elections, was in Bengaluru, to impress upon the Congress leaders to let him contest from Ramanagara again.

Speaking to DH, he said that Congress was making a blunder by "sacrificing" the Ramanagara seat to the JD(S).

"I was the candidate last time, and I want to contest again. There is no question of a compromise. Congress is a national party. It should not surrender before a regional party like the JD(S). I had won nearly 70,000 votes -- only 22,000 votes lesser than Kumaraswamy. I am now answerable to the voters who supported me. I am confident of winning the seat and my party should let me contest the bypolls," he said.

In the Assembly elections, Kumaraswamy fetched 92,626 votes; while Hussain had garnered 69,990. BJP candidate Leelavathi, had come a distant third with 4,871 votes.

The coalition partners -- Congress and the JD(S) have agreed to help each other during the bypolls to the two Assembly and three Lok Sabha seats.

According to the pact, the Congress will contest the Jamkhandi Assembly seat, and extend support to the JD(S) in Ramanagara.

Elections to all five segments will be held on November 3. The last date for filing nominations is October 16.