Independent retires from Council bypoll contest

Victory of Laxman Savadi is now a foregone conclusion

With the Janata Dal (Secular)-backed Independent candidate Anil Kumar deciding to retire from the byelection to the Karnataka Legislative Council from the Legislative Assembly constituency, the victory of the BJP candidate and Deputy Chief Minister, Laxman Savadi, will be a foregone conclusion. As the Congress decided against the supporting him, Mr. Kumar on Saturday announced his retirement from the contest.

Since the candidate has retired from the contest after the last day for withdrawal of nomination papers (February 10), the polling, scheduled on Monday from 9 a.m., will be held and the result known by evening.

There were differences among State Congress legislators on supporting the JD(S)-backed Independent candidate.

Though JD(S) leader and former Minister H.D. Revanna had sought the Congress support to defeat the BJP candidate, senior Congress leaders had opposed the revival of the alliance with the regional party. The JD(S) had hoped for cross-voting by “disgruntled” BJP MLAs, sources said.

No numbers

While senior leader D.K. Shivakumar had reportedly agreed to support Mr. Kumar, the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has allegedly been nursing a grouse against the JD(S) for his defeat in the 2018 Assembly elections in Chamundeshwari constituency and subsequent political developments in the State, had expressed his reservation in supporting the Independent. His argument had been that both the parties do not have numbers to ensure the victory of the candidate, and therefore, defeat would only dent the morale of the party cadre again, sources said.

KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao too toed the line of the former Chief Minister and both the leaders ruled out any alliance with the JD(S) for the byelection.

The seat fell vacant following the resignation of Rizwan Arshad, who was elected as an MLA. The term of the member who will be elected now will be till June 14, 2022. The governing BJP, with 116 MLAs (excluding the Speaker), has majority in the Assembly. If both the Congress and the JD(S) come together, their number would touch 102.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 2:54:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/independent-retires-from-council-bypoll-contest/article30831838.ece

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