Cong. finds it tough to pick candidates in three constituencies


Party’s choice in Vijayanagar, Yeshwantpur and Athani still hangs fire

As most disqualified legislators from the Congress, who had won in the 2018 Assembly elections, have become BJP candidates, the party is finding it tough to find “winnable” candidates in three constituencies — Vijayanagar in Ballari, Yeshwantpur in Bengaluru and Athani in Belagavi — for the upcoming Assembly bypolls scheduled on December 5.

This is is one of the reason for the delay in announcement of the second list of candidates. The party announced its first list of eight candidates a week ago.

The ruling BJP has given ticket to all disqualified legislators of the Congress in the three constituencies. Anand Singh, who had quit the BJP and joined the Congress on the eve of the 2018 elections, retuned to the saffron party since he was not made Minister in the coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy. Mr. Singh, a three-time MLA who hit hat-trick by winning in 2008, 2013 and 2018, is contesting bypolls on BJP ticket in Vijayanagar constituency. The Congress has no credible candidate to fight him, sources said.

In Yeshwantpur too, the Congress has no popular face and a section of leaders have proposed M. Rajkumar, Bangalore North Congress president, as candidate. The BJP has fielded Congress rebel S.T. Somashekar, who was chairman of the BDA during the coalition regime. Mr. Somashekar, a two-time MLA, was successful in getting ₹763 crore from the BJP government for his constituency during the last few months. He had undertaken a slew of projects using the funds.

In Athani, Congress rebel Mahesh Kumathalli is the BJP’s candidate. Here, Mr. Kumathalli defeated Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who has been denied ticket by the BJP now.

In K.R. Pet constituency in Mandya, where JD(S) rebel K.C. Narayana Gowda is the BJP candidate, the Congress is expected to field K.B. Chandrashekar who lost to Mr. Gowda in 2018.

At Kagwad, BJP MLA Bharamagouda Alagouda Kage is expected to contest, while Lakhan Jarkiholi is expected to be pitted against his brother Ramesh Jarkiholi of the BJP from Gokak. There is no consensus yet on the candidate for Shivajinagar constituency in Bengaluru.

Monday is the last date for filing nominations for the bypolls.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:24:47 PM |

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