Choosing nominees for the coming Lok Sabha elections from Bidar is proving to be a tedious exercise for most parties.

Dissenting voices have come to the fore over the proposed candidature of incumbent Congress MP and former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh although initially it was widely believed that his selection was a foregone conclusion.

A section of the Congress has demanded that a Lingayat leader be fielded from Bidar as other Constituencies in Hyderabad Karnataka are either reserved for SCs or STs or that the caste equations there make it difficult for Lingayats to win. Some others say Bidar is among the 90 minority dominated districts in the country and a Muslim leader should speak for it in Parliament. Representations have been sent to the KPCC with the two demands.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has a unique record in Bidar district. Party patriarch late Ramachandra Veerappa was elected five times from the Bidar Parliamentary constituency. Before joining the BJP, he was elected from the Congress for two terms.

The party’s fortunes, however, have not been stable. In the 2013 Assembly elections, Prabhu Chauhan became the lone BJP nominee to win in the district. Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, KJP MLA for Bidar, has come back to the BJP along with B.S Yeddyurappa. Mr. Nagamarapalli’s supporters maintain that nomination of his son Suryakant Nagamarapalli was a precondition for his rejoining the BJP. “None other than Narendra Modi, the party’s prime ministerial candidate, has assured us of this,” they claimed. The other aspirants are the former MLA Prakash Khandre, who is related to the former Minister Bheemanna Khandre, and Sanjay Kheny, who is related to Ashok Kheny, MLA and businessman.

In JD(S) camp

Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Minister Bandeppa Kashempur, who lost to Mr. Kheny in the 2013 election, plans to enter the fray. “More than me, it is my supporters who want me to fight. I have communicated it to senior leaders,” he said. Mallikarjun Khuba, JD(S) MLA for Basavakalyan, wants to contest too.

The Bahujan Samaj Party has a presence in this border district. Syed Zulfikar Hashmi became the first BSP MLA from south India in 1994. Party leaders late Kanshi Ram and Mayawati have addressed rallies here in the past. “We are serious about fighting the elections this time,” said Vaijanath Suryavanshi, BSP State unit general secretary. “The elephant may not march from here to Delhi. But it will upset the victory processions of others,” he said, referring to the party symbol.

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