Staff Correspondent

The former MP Raja Rangappa Naik is only prominent person to seek ticket

Rangappa Naik’s loyalty to the party being questioned

Party is reportedly thinking of fielding a woman candidate

Raichur: There is uncertainty over the selection of the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate for the Raichur Lok Sabha seat. The constituency has been reserved for a Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidate after the delimitation exercise in 2008.

The former MP Raja Rangappa Naik is the only prominent person from the district who has filed his application seeking Janata Dal (S) ticket. He won the seat as a Janata Dal candidate in the 1996 parliamentary elections and lost the seat to Congress candidate A. Venkatesh Naik in 1998.

The Janata Dal (S), which has so far not identified any alternative candidates, has also signalled to Mr. Rangappa Naik to prepare himself for the elections. But the party has kept his selection pending following differences between the party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and the State unit president H.D. Kumaraswamy over Mr. Rangappa Naik’s loyalty to the party.

Party sources here revealed that though Mr. Rangappa Naik has the ability to contest the Lok Sabha elections, he had not gained the confidence of the party leaders. Mr. Rangappa Naik, who was with the Janata Dal (S) before the 2004 parliamentary elections, joined the Congress in 2004 and later jumped to the Bharatiya Janata Party keeping an eye on the Assembly elections. But he joined Janata Dal (S) when the BJP denied him the party ticket during the 2008 Assembly elections and contested on Janata Dal (S) ticket unsuccessfully from the Raichur Rural segment.

However, the party made Mr. Rangappa Naik the State general secretary after the Assembly elections hoping that he would feel responsibility in strengthening the party in the district. During the Deodurga byelection, Mr. Gowda took serious note when Mr. Rangappa Naik made little effort to woo voters in favour of the party candidate. The Deodurga seat was retained by Minister for Adult Education, Library, Small Savings and Lottery K. Shivangouda Naik even after he left the Janata Dal (S) and fought the byelection as a BJP candidate.

Even after that, Mr. Kumaraswamy is said to be in favour of Mr. Rangappa Naik. However, Mr. Gowda has some doubts on Mr. Rangappa Naik’s loyalty. This has prompted Mr. Gowda to search for an alternative.

According to indications available, the party may spring a surprise by fielding a new face, mostly a woman. The party is reportedly thinking of fielding Kalpana, a doctor,residing at Bangalore. She is the daughter-in-law of Mudukappa Naik, an active leader of the Janata Dal (S) at Arkera village in Deodurga taluk. Mr. Rangappa Naik has been camping at Bangalore in a bid to convince the party supremo of his loyalty to the party.