Mandya bypolls: Political activity gains momentum

Mandya bypolls: Political activity gains momentum

Dr Lakshmi Ashwingowda

Political activity is gaining momentum after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the dates for the by-election for Mandya Lok Sabha constituency. While the alliance between JD(S) and Congress parties is likely to continue, BJP too is preparing for the polls scheduled for November 3.

The by-election is necessitated as C S Puttaraju, who was MP, tendered his resignation to contest in the elections from Melukote Assembly segment on a JD(S) ticket. Puttaraju won the election and was appointed Minister for Minor Irrigation.

The by-poll, six months prior to the general election, has turned into a prestige issue for all the three major political parties. It is crucial for all the parties to maintain their political hold on the region.

As JD(S) and Congress have formed the State Cabinet, the alliance between the parties is likely to continue. According to political pundits, JD(S), which managed to win all seven Assembly segments in the district, would field its candidate.

Names of Dr Lakshmi Ashwingowda, former IRS officer, and Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, are doing the rounds in the JD(S). Nikhil, during his recent visit to Mandya, had expressed his desire to enter active politics.

Dr Lakshmi was an aspirant of a ticket to contest from Nagamangala Assembly segment, but, she was assured of an MP ticket from the party. A native of Kodihalli in Malavalli taluk, Dr Lakshmi is an MBBS graduate from Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences in Hubballi. Her husband Ashwingowda was also an IRS officer and served in West Bengal. Dr Lakshmi is the daughter of Malavalli JD(S) president Kenchaiah.

Speaking to DH, Dr Lakshmi said, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda had assured of fielding her in the MP elections three months back. “I am preparing for the elections and I am in regular contact with the party workers and leaders of the constituency. I would meet Deve Gowda on Saturday evening," she said.

According to sources, JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda nurtures a desire to field his grandson Nikhil. But, Kumaraswamy wants to field him in the general election in 2019.

However, BJP leaders say that the by-election was not necessary as the gap for the general election is less. "The election is necessitated due to Puttaraju and no political party or people are ready for it. But, it is inevitable to face the election. We will move as per the advise of our leaders. Party leader Sudhakara Hosahalli has demanded a party ticket," said BJP leader H R Aravind.