Siddaramaiah not to campaign for Anitha in bypolls

Siddaramaiah not to campaign for Anitha in bypolls

Anitha Kumaraswamy

Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah will not be campaigning in favour of alliance partner, the JD(S), in the byelections to Ramanagara Assembly constituency.

However, he will campaign in four other constituencies where byelections are being held. Siddaramaiah’s 10-day campaign is scheduled to begin on October 22 at Bellary Parliamentary constituency, where Congress’ V S Ugrappa is pitted against BJP’s J Shanta.

Of the 10 days, Siddaramaiah will campaign for the JD(S) candidates in Mandya and Shimoga Parliamentary constituencies on October 24 and 25, respectively. He has dedicated the remaining eight days for the Congress candidates in Jamkhandi Assembly constituency and Bellary.

The JD(S) is contesting three seats, while the Congress has fielded its candidates in two seats, as per the seat-sharing agreement. Byelections to three Parliamentary and two Assembly seats are scheduled for November 3.

The Congress initially wanted to field its candidate in Shimoga. But it finally gave away the seat to the JD(S) as it failed to find a strong candidate to take on BJP’s B Y Raghavendra, son of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. Madhu Bangarappa is the JD(S) candidate in Shimoga now.

Siddaramaiah skipping Ramanagara has raised eyebrows in the political circles. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy is the JD(S) candidate in Ramanagara. The local Congress leaders had stiffly opposed the party’s decision to give away the seat to the JD(S).

This apart, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, Siddaramaiah and other senior leaders of the two parties are holding a meeting on Saturday in Bengaluru to draw up a joint campaign plan. Later Gowda and Siddaramaiah are scheduled to brief the media on the outcome of the meeting.

The move is seen as an effort by the alliance partners to send out a message that the two parties are united, sources in the Congress said.

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