With efforts to form a unified alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress gaining momentum, the Janata Dal (Secular) is determined to improve its performance in the State to make its presence felt in the “new bloc”. It has set a target of winning at least 13 seats in the Lok Sabha.
Party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy told The Hindu: “Candidates for 13 constituencies have almost been finalised and the nod of the parliamentary board is awaited.”
The JD(S) will focus mainly on Kolar, Chickballapur, Tumkur, Bangalore Rural, Mandya, Mysore, Hassan, Shimoga, Raichur, Bidar, Bijapur, Chitradurga and Uttara Kannada.
“It does not mean that the party will not concentrate on the other 15 constituencies. Our strategy will change after considering the candidates from other political parties,” he said. However, he refused to divulge names of candidates for the 13 constituencies.
Confirming party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda’s candidature from Hassan, Mr. Kumaraswamy said: “Appaji has an emotional attachment for Hassan and wants to contest from his native district.”
In all probability, the party will release its first list of candidates after February 12, said party’s State president A. Krishnappa.
Sources in the party said Bandeppa Kashampur will be fielded from Bidar, A. Krishnappa from Tumkur, H.D. Deve Gowda from Hassan, Geetha Shivarajkumar from Shimoga, former IAS officer Siddaiah from Kolar, C.S. Puttaraju from Mandya, M. Shivanna from Chamarajanagar and Shivananda Naik from Uttara Kannada LS constituencies.
Though a tentative list of candidates for the 28 constituencies is ready, the party has decided to wait till the Congress and the BJP release their lists, a senior party leader said.
Party sources also said that considering the situation in Chickballapur constituency, the candidature of Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of Mr. Kumaraswamy is also under consideration. “Ms. Anitha is from Chintamani Assembly constituency,” said the source.