Cong MLC’s son joins BJP ahead of Ramanagara byelection

Cong MLC’s son joins BJP ahead of Ramanagara byelection

Congress MLC C M Lingappa. File photo

The BJP is planning to field Congress MLC C M Lingappa’s son Chandrashekar to contest from Ramanagara Assembly constituency for the bypolls scheduled for November 3.

Chandrashekar joined the BJP in presence of party state president B S Yeddyurappa in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Chandrashekar had been sulking over the Congress pact with the JD(S) in Ramanagara. The JD(S) has decided to field Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita from the constituency.

The bypoll was necessitated after Kumaraswamy vacated the seat. He was elected from two seats — Ramanagara and Channapatna – in the Assembly polls held in May this year and he decided to retain the latter.

Interestingly, Kumaraswamy’s father H D Deve Gowda had vacated the Ramanagara seat in 1996 after he was sworn in as prime minister. C M Lingappa had wrested the seat in the ensuing bypoll. If Chandrashekar gets the ticket he will be taking on Gowda’s daughter-in-law again in a bypoll - a replay of an electoral battle between the two families.

Chandrashekar has been vice president of the district Congress committee and was a ticket aspirant in the Assembly polls held earlier this year. However, Congress gave the ticket to former Ramanagara Zilla Panchayat president Iqbal Hussain who lost to Kumaraswamy by a margin of 18,000 votes.

Former minister C P Yogeeshwara is said to have been instrumental in getting Chandrashekar to the BJP fold. Speaking to reporters, Yeddyurappa said a final decision on the party’s candidate will be decided in a day or two.

The BJP, which is trying to exploit the revolt within Congress over the alliance with JD(S), is said to be in talks with former minister N Chaluvarayaswamy convincing him to contest the Mandya Lok Sabha seat.

Formerly with the JD(S), Chaluvarayaswamy had joined the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls. He had contested unsuccessfully from the Nagamangala Assembly segment in the May polls.

There is also a probability that the BJP may field former deputy chief minister R Ashoka or former MLC Ashwathanarayan from Mandya.

The BJP core committee on Tuesday finalised the names of former MP B Y Raghavendra for the Shimoga Lok Sabha bypoll and that of J Shantha for the Bellary Lok Sabha seat.

The party also finalised the name of former MLA Srikanth Kulkarni for the Jamkhandi Assembly bypoll. The party’s choice of candidate in Jamkhandi has led to a minor rebellion in the local unit of the party.

BJP Sugarcane Growers Forum president Basavaraj Sindoora, an aspirant, said Kulkarni was given the ticket only because he was close to the RSS. Sindoora said he will decide on his next step of action after discussing with his supporters.