The coveted Bengaluru North ticket has made its way back to the hands of the Congress party, after it was initially offered to the JD(S).
While the Congress party had earlier handed the ticket to the JD(S), senior leader of the party HD Deve Gowda approached Congress leader BL Shankar and offered him the seat, and asked him to contest on the JD(S) symbol. However, Shankar refused to contest as a JD(S) candidate, citing his loyalty to the Congress. Deve Gowda even considered running on the Bengaluru North ticket, before ultimately choosing to contest from Tumakuru.
Several influential leaders in the Bangalore North constituency, such as Byrati Suresh, Priya Krishna, and M Krishnappa are staunch supporters of former Chief Minister and Congress head Siddaramaiah. These leaders have openly professed their support for Siddaramaiah and have expressed to Deve Gowda that they would not support him.
As a result, it seems that the likely candidate for the seat will be none other than Congressâ€™ BL Shankar, though it is speculated that Roshan Baig may also be an option.
The Karnataka Congress announced its first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Sunday. Sitting MPs have been offered tickets. The party announced its candidate for Bengaluru South as BK Hariprasad after much speculation.
BL Shankar, a native of Chikkamagaluru district, earlier contested as a Congress candidate in the 2018 Assembly elections. He had earlier been the MP of Chikkamagaluru district from 1996 to 1997, and entered the Legislative council twice: once between 1987 and 1988 and the second time from 1998 to 2004. He also served as state president for the Janata Dal party from 1997 to 1999.
Earlier in 2017, there were several reports which suggested that Shankar would defect from Congress to the BJP party. He had even met Senior party leader, BS Yeddyurappa. The BJP had allegedly been trying to woo Shankar into joining their party since 2009.