‘Unwilling,’ yet parties gear up for Shimoga bypoll

‘Unwilling,’ yet parties gear up for Shimoga bypoll

By-election to Shivamogga Lok Sabha constituency

B Y Raghavendra, Kagodu Thimmappa, Kimmane Rathnakar and Manjunath Bhandary. (DH Photos)

The seat was vacated by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who resigned after winning the Assembly election from Shikaripur.

So, the efforts will be to not only to retain the Shivamogga seat with the BJP but also in Yeddyurappa’s family. District BJP president and MLC S Rudre Gowda former MP and son of Yeddyurappa B Y Raghavendra would be the BJP nominee and he would file his papers on October 15.

For the Congress candidature, names of veteran leader Kagodu Thimmappa, former minister Kimmane Ratnakar and KPCC vice-president Manjunath Bhandary, who had unsuccessfully contested the previous Lok Sabha polls, are doing the rounds. Kimmane Ratnakar, who is regarded as a clean politician, is the frontrunner for the Congress ticket.

Party sources said the high command would take a call on the candidature soon. JD(S), which failed to win a single seat in the district during the Assembly elections, is unlikely to contest. It is likely to back the Congress.

Ratnakar belongs to the Vokkaliga community and Thimmappa is a senior leader of the Ediga community. The Shivamogga constituency has a good number of voters belonging to the two communities. So, the party hopes to put up a good performance in the byelection by fielding one of the two candidates. But Kagodu’s age may become a matter of concern for the high command while selecting the candidate.

District Congress president Ti Na Srinivas told DH that KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao has convened a meeting in Bengaluru on October 9 to finalise the candidate and take a call on alliance with JD(S).

The Shivamogga constituency has eight Assembly constituencies, including Byndoor in Udupi district. Of these, BJP has seven legislators and Congress one. This is likely to prove beneficial for the BJP in retaining the seat. The Congress is pinning hopes on its traditional votebank.

District JD(S) youth wing president G D Manjunath told DH that the party was not ready to face the byelection due to shortage of time for preparations.

Yeddyurappa had registered a remarkable victory by a margin of more than 3 lakh votes in the 2014 general elections. BJP had bagged 6,06,216 votes. Congress nominee Manjunath Bhandary had finished second with 2,42,911 votes and Geetha Shivarajkumar of JD(S) had secured 2,40,636 votes.

‘Kimmane from Cong’

Though Congress party has not yet officially announced its candidate, Kagodu
Thimmappa hinted that Kimmane Ratnakar will be the candidate.

Speaking to mediapersons, he told reporters in Shivamogga that Kimmane is likely to the candidate.