Winnability overtakes probity in state politics

Being tainted is no longer a stigma in state politics. At least, this is what all three major political parties — the Congress, the BJP and the JD(S) — seem to believe going by their list of candidates announced for the May 12 Assembly polls.

All three parties have given the tickets to many tainted and controversial leaders, disregarding the fact that they are still facing charges of corruption and illegality. Some of them who had indulged in misconduct despite holding public office have also made it to the list of candidates.

Over a dozen candidates in both the Congress and the BJP are sullied. Though all parties initially claimed that they would keep tainted leaders away, they have silently accommodated them while finalising the list. Winnability, it appears, has been the only criterion for political parties in choosing their candidates in this polls.

Over half a dozen candidates in the Congress — D K Shivakumar (Kanakapura), K J George (Sarvagnanagar), Santosh Lad (Kalghatgi), H Anjaneya (Holalkere), Anil Lad (Bellary City), Anand Singh (Vijayanagar) and Nagendra (Bellary Rural) — are facing serious charges. 

While Santosh Lad, Anil Lad, Nagendra and Anand Singh have illegal mining charges against them, Anjaneya was accused of irregularities in awarding tenders in his department.

Shivakumar is facing a probe by the Income Tax department. He was also accused of involvement in illegal denotification of land. George is under a CBI investigation in connection with the suicide of police officer M K Ganapathi in 2016.

The party has also fielded H Y Meti (Bagalkot), who was accused of involvement in a sex scandal in 2016. A video in this regard had caused immense embarrassment to the ruling party, and Meti was also forced to resign as the excise minister.

Similarly, P T Parameshar Naik (Hadagali) resigned as labour minister after he reportedly threatened former police officer Anupama Shenoy.

The saffron party, too, has a long list of tainted leaders among its candidates: Katta Subramanya Naidu (Shivajinagar), S N Krishnaiah Setty (Malur), Murugesh Nirani (Bilgi), H Halappa (Sagara) and M P Renukacharya (Honnali) are some of the prominent party leaders.

Katta was facing corruption charges and was also indicted by the Karnataka Lokayukta. Setty and Nirani were accused of involvement in illegal denotification of land during the previous BJP regime. The party had denied Setty the ticket in the 2013 Assembly polls, following which he had joined the Congress. He recently returned to the saffron party’s fold.

Halappa, who was accused of a rape case, had subsequently resigned as food and civil supplies minister for bringing humiliation to the party. He was later acquitted. Renukacharya was accused of sexually harassing a nurse.

In the JD(S), G T Deve Gowda (Chamundeshwari), Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), Manjunath Gowda (Thirtahalli) are some leaders whose names have been sullied by charges of corruption and serious criminal cases.

Gowda is accused of involvement in the KHB land scam and is being investigated by the ACB, while Gopalaiah is facing criminal charges.

Manjunath Gowda was reportedly involved in irregularities in the Shivamogga District Co-operative Bank. Altaf Khan, who is likely to be the party candidate from Chamarajpet, is also facing criminal charges.

Congress BJP JD(S)
  • D K Shivakumar (Kanakapura)
  • K J George (Sarvagnanagar)
  • Santosh Lad (Kalghatgi)
  • H Anjaneya (Holalkere)
  • Anil Lad (Bellary City)
  • Anand Singh (Vijayanagar)
  • Nagendra (Bellary Rural)
  • HY Meti (Bagalkot)
  • P T Parameshwar Naik (Hadagali)
  • Katta Subramanya Naidu (Shivajinagar)
  • S N Krishnaiah Setty (Malur)
  • Murugesh Nirani (Bilgi)
  • H Halappa (Sagara)
  • M P Renukacharya (Honnali)
  • G T Deve Gowda (Chamundeshwari)
  • Altaf Khan (Chamarajpet probable)
  • Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout)
  • Manjunath Gowda (Thirthahalli)

 

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