The Karnataka Congress announced on Wednesday that TB Jayachandra, a former Minister, and H Kusuma, wife of late IAS officer DK Ravi, will be the party's candidates in the upcoming bye-elections in the state. TB Jayachandra has been fielded as the party candidate in the Sira Assembly constituency while Kusuma will contest the elections from the Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) Assembly constituency.
Sira in Tumakuru district along with the RR Nagar Assembly segment in Bengaluru will go for bye-polls on November 3, for which the election notification will be issued on October 9.
The last date for filing of nominations is October 16 and counting of votes will take place on November 10.
Kusuma recently joined the Congress, five years after her husband DK Ravi was found dead at his residence in March 2015. Ravi was known in bureaucratic circles for going after land encroachers. The then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress ordered a CBI probe into Ravi's death after allegations that Congress party MLAs had harassed the officer. The probe ended with the CBI stating in its closure report that DK Ravi had ended his own life.
Jayachandra had represented Sira constituency twice in 2008 and 2013, by defeating JD(S)'s Sathyanarayana, who in turn had defeated Jayachandra in the 2018 Assembly polls. The JD(S) MLA's death earlier this year necessitated the bye-polls in Sira. JD(S) has already announced that Ammajamma, Sathyanarayana's wife, will be the party's candidate in Sira.
The Congress and JD(S) are traditional rivals for the seat, which the BJP has never won. If BJP fields a strong candidate, the bye-election is likely to see a three-way contest.
The BJP is yet to announce its candidate for the seat, the state leadership having already sent its recommendations to the party high command. The recommendations include Dr CM Rajesh Gowda, a radiologist and the son of a former Congress MP from Chitradurga.