Search for candidates begins
With the Election Commission of India announcing the dates for bypolls to Bangalore Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies, the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) have started preparations in the right earnest.
As the search for candidates begins, the JD(S) is investing all its efforts to retain its hold on the two constituencies and the ruling Congress is facing a challenge to wrest them.
The former Chief Minister and JD(S) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy vacated the Bangalore Rural seat and N. Chaluvarayaswamy vacated the Mandya seat to contest the Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara has said that his party will win both the seats considering the pro-people programmes launched in the last two months. “Our preparations in the past few months will come handy for us,” he said.
However, according to sources, choosing candidates will not be easy for the Congress. It is reportedly considering the names of C.M. Lingappa, Ramanagaram MLA; the former MP Tejaswini Gowda, who lost to Mr. Kumaraswamy in the previous elections; and D. K. Suresh, the brother of Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar.
Ms. Tejaswini Gowda met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday. It is reported that Ramangaram district Congress committee has written to the KPCC president against fielding her.
Mr. Shivakumar, who is upset with the treatment meted out to him during the formation of the State Cabinet, is said to be against fielding his brother. Names of L.R. Shivarame Gowda, and Atmananda, former MLAs, are being considered for the Mandya constituency. Mr. Atmananda’s candidature for Mandya was a hotly-debated issue during the 2013 Assembly polls, with M.H. Ambareesh finally being given the ticket.
The JD (S) is learnt to be considering the names of senior party leader P.G.R. Sindhia, who represented Kanakapura Parliamentary constituency twice, and Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of Mr. Kumaraswamy, for the Bangalore Rural constituency. Both of them lost the Assembly polls. C.S. Puttaraju’s name is being considered for the Mandya constituency.
Sources in the JD(S) clarified that no names had been finalised and a meeting would be convened on Monday for the purpose.