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Parties yet to release final list of candidates

Special Correspondent

Today is last date for withdrawal of nominations

  • Distribution of ticket has exposed differences among the major contenders
  • Candidates moving to other parties at the eleventh hour
  • Situation relatively better in Janata Dal (S), AIPJD

    GULBARGA: With less than a day left for the withdrawal of nominations for the zilla and taluk panchayat elections, so far none of the major political parties, including the Congress, Janata Dal (Secular), Bharatiya Janata Party, and All-India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD), have come out with their final list of candidates in the district.

    The distribution of the ticket has also exposed the differences among the major contenders for power and also witnessed the changing of colours by the Congress associate member in the Assembly Raju Gowda, who in the eleventh hour moved to AIPJD, led by former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

    Mr. Gowda, who won in Surpur in the last general elections on the Kannada Nadu Party ticket, moved to the Congress and became the associate member of the legislature party. However, his entry into the Congress was opposed by Raja Venkatappa Naik, who was defeated in the previous Assembly elections. Mr. Gowda wanted the party to accommodate his supporters in majority of the constituencies, but Dr. Naik emerged successful in getting the party ticket in majority of the constituencies to his supporters.

    The supporters of Mr. Gowda and Dr. Naik clashed on the last day of filing of nominations, forcing the police to open fire in the air to disburse the mob. In the heavy stone pelting and arson incidents, Dr. Naik had suffered injuries and several vehicles, including a police jeep, were damaged.

    The denial of the ticket to the sitting zilla panchayat members, including Jharanappa Chincholi and Premkumar Rathod, by the Congress forced them to move to Janata Dal (S) and the Samajwadi Party and contest the elections from Nidagunda in Chincholi and Gobbur (B) in Afsalpur taluk respectively.

    The differences in the Congress also came to the open after the party denied ticket to former Gulbarga Mayor Sanjay Singh, who is Chief Minister N. Dharm Singh's relative, and former Deputy Mayor Nandakumar Mali Patil. The reason for the denial of the ticket to both Mr. Singh and Mr. Malipatil was that they were enjoying power already. However, the party is accused of applying a different yardstick in the case of former Deputy Mayor Santosh Patil, who has been declared as the official candidate from Bandarwad Taluk Panchayat in Afsalpur.

    Even in the BJP, the supporters of a contender to the Aurad Taluk Panchayat Udaykumar Patil, son of former MLA Chandrasekhar Patil, ransacked the residence of BJP district president and MLC Shashil G. Namoshi, damaged the windowpanes and a car. The party's district unit decided to expel one of the senior most members of the party and a contender to the Lok Sabha seat from Gulbarga Amarnath Patil. The charge against Mr. Patil is that he led the attack Mr. Namoshi's house. However, Mr. Patil's supporters have denied the charge.

    Following the denial of ticket to Mr. Udaykumar Patil, the three-time MLA Revu Naik sent in his resignation papers to the party's State unit President Jagadish Shettar.

    However, the situation is better in the Janata Dal (S) and AIPJD. There were no reports of rebel candidates from both the parties.

    While the Janata Dal (S) has fielded its candidates in almost all the seats, the AIPJD had fielded its candidates in Surpur, Afsalpur, Chincholi, Aland and few places in other taluks.

    The final picture about the number of rebel candidates from each party will emerge on Wednesday.

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