Cong-JD(S) finalises names for LS polls

Cong-JD(S) finalises names for LS polls

The Congress has deputed Revenue Minister R V Deshpande to Shimoga.

Ending speculations, coalition partners - Congress and the JD(S) - on Sunday finalised candidates for the bypolls to three Lok Sabha constituencies - Shimoga, Bellary and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies.  

The Congress finally let go of the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency to the JD(S), which has decided to field former MLA Madhu Bangarappa from the segment.

Madhu Bangarappa who will be contesting against BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra, had contested and lost the Soraba seat in Shimoga district to his brother Kumar Bangarappa (BJP) during the Assembly elections held earlier this year.

Shimoga, along with two other Parliament segments (Bellary and Mandya) and Assembly constituencies (Ramanagara and Jamkhandi), is going to polls on November 3.

The bypoll was necessitated here after Yeddyurappa resigned as its MP, when he contested and won the Shikaripura Assembly seat.

As per the pact between the two parties, the Congress was supposed to contest the Shimoga, Bellary, and Jamkhandi seats, leaving Ramanagar and Mandya seats to the JD(S).

Though the party was keen on fielding either Kimmane Ratnakar or Kagodu Thimmappa, the duo, however, refused to contest the byelections.

When the JD(S) realised that there were no takers for the Congress ticket, it grabbed the opportunity and evinced interest in fielding its candidate from the constituency. Though the Congress dillydallied, it later agreed to let go of the seat to its ally.

The decision was finalised during the meeting between Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, when the latter was in Bengaluru on Saturday.

The JD(S), which had kept its decision pending over the candidate in Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, announced that former legislator L R Shivarame Gowda would be its candidate in the Vokkaliga heartland.

The party’s decision took many by surprise as speculations were rife that the party was seriously considering the candidature of former IRS officer Lakshmi Ashwin Gowda. Lakshmi told DH that she had quit the service after the party had assured her the ticket from Mandya.

Shivarame Gowda will contest against BJP’s Siddaramaiah - a retired additional commissioner of the Commercial Tax department.

The bypoll to this constituency was necessitated after JD(S) leader and Minor Irrigation Minister C S Puttaraju vacated the seat.

After much deliberation, the Congress is said to have finalised its candidate for the Bellary seat. Though there was no official announcement from the party, sources said Bellary MLA B Nagendra’s brother Venkatesh Prasad would be fielded against BJP’s J Shantha. The Congress had struggled to pick a candidate in the faction-ridden mining district.

The Congress has deputed Revenue Minister R V Deshpande to Shimoga, Industries Minister K J George to Mandya and MP D K Suresh to Ramanagara - to oversee the bypoll on behalf of the party. Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar will supervise elections in Bellary.

JD(S) candidate from Ramanagara, Anitha Kumaraswamy will be filing her nominations on Monday. She will be accompanied by her husband Kumaraswamy. Anitha will be contesting against BJP’s L Chandrashekar.

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, who will be overseeing electioneering in all five constituencies, will be joining his party’s candidate Anand Nyamagouda when he files his nominations in Jamakhandi on October 16.