K’taka 2018: Sons and daughters of leaders make a beeline for party tickets

From Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter to HD Deve Gowda’s grandson, many leader’s kids are hopeful of securing a ticket.
K’taka 2018: Sons and daughters of leaders make a beeline for party tickets
K’taka 2018: Sons and daughters of leaders make a beeline for party tickets

With most mainstream parties yet to release the final list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls, there is buzz in the political circles that the children of party veterans will be given tickets in this decisive election.

The Congress party, which is in power in the state, is expected to release its list of candidates on April 10 –  during the Central Working Committee (CWC) meet – after the pros and cons of each probable candidate is assessed.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is also set to release its list of candidates ahead of April 15. The Janata Dal (Secular), which was the first among mainstream parties to release its first list of candidates, has also left space for speculation that members of the party’s first family will be included in the candidate list.

The last date of filing nominations is April 24.

Incumbent MLAs and several veterans, across party lines, have requested the high commands of each of their parties to give their children a ticket.

Notably, Priyank Kharge, the son of Mallikarjun Kharge, and Shamanur Mallikarjun, son of Shamanuru Shivashankarappa, became ministers in the state after becoming first-time MLAs in the last elections.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dr G Parameshwara had said that nearly 25 candidates who had applied for tickets were either the sons, daughters or relatives of existing Congress leaders.

Highly placed sources in the Congress say that the party is not wary of the ‘dynastic politics’ tag that is often attributed to it, but is only concerned about the winnability of each candidate selected in a bid to counter an anti-incumbency wave.

Roshan Baig, former minister and five-time MLA from Shivajinagar, has allegedly asked that his son Ruman contest instead of him. He is learnt to have asked the party high command for a Rajya Sabha ticket.

Here is a list of other children of Congress leaders who may just be given tickets this time:

Dr Yathindra: Son of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

With CM Siddaramaiah declaring that he will contest from Chamundeshwari this time, the Varuna constituency, which he currently holds, will most probably see his son Yathindra contesting. Yathindra was seen as a reluctant politician as his older brother Rakesh was slated to enter politics. However, Rakesh’s death two years ago pushed Yathindra into the limelight. He is touted to be the man behind Siddaramaiah’s notable online presence.  

Sowmya Reddy: Daughter of Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy

The Home Minister, also a six-time MLA, is understood to have asked the party for a ticket from the Jayanagar constituency. Before delimitation, Ramalinga himself had contested from the seat and had won four times. Sowmya is currently the Vice-President of the Youth Congress, Bengaluru. Ramalinga has said that even if she fails to get a ticket, she will actively campaign for the party candidate.

Sunil Bose: Son of Public Works Department MInister HC Mahadevappa   

Mahadevappa, who is a close confidante of Siddaramaiah within the Cabinet, was reportedly seeking a party ticket for his son, Sunil Bose. Speculation is rife that Mahadevappa will seek a ticket from neighbouring Nanjangud seat for himself. Sunil was expected to fight the bye-elections in 2016 from this seat, but was named in an illegal in a sand mining case. Despite this, he is the nominated Chairman of the Vigilance Committee from this seat.

Santosh Jayachandra: Son of Law Minister TB Jayachandra

Troubleshooter-in-chief for the state Congress, current Law Minister and and seven-time MLA TB Jayachandra from Tumakuru has sought a ticket for his son from neighbouring Chikkanayakanahalli. Like many of the Congress leaders’ kith and kin, Santosh is also active in the Youth Congress. Like Sunil, he too was accused of being involved in illegal sand quarrying in his home district.

R Rajendra: Son of KN Rajanna

Senior Congress leader KN Rajanna, who had previously won from Madhugiri, Tumakuru, reportedly wants his son Rajendra to fight from the Tumakuru rural constituency. Rajendra recently resigned from his position as Youth Congress Vice-President in the state, citing irregularities in the election process.  

Nivedith Alva: Son of Margaret Alva

Nivedith – whose mother Margaret Alva is a Congress veteran, and was the former governor of Uttarakhand and Rajasthan – is currently the General Secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. He also served as the Chairman of the Karnataka Coastal Development Authority until recently.

Meanwhile, Harsha Moily, son of former CM Veerappa Moily, who was rumoured to be seeking a seat from Karakala seems to be out of the race now. This came after a tweet from his and his father’s Twitter handles caused much embarrassment to the party.

On March 15, both their Twitter handles Moily tweeted,  “INC needs to solve money in politics. We can’t afford to have road contractors and their nexus with the state PWD minister determine how candidates are selected for the upcoming assembly elections.”

The tweets also tagged AICC President Rahul Gandhi in his tweet.

The BJP, on the other hand, does not have that many kin of many leaders in the fray.

 BY Vijayendra: Son of former CM BS Yeddyurappa

As reported earlier, son of former CM BS Yeddyurappa, BY Vijayendra, is set for a face-off against Siddaramaiah’s son Dr Yathindra. When asked if he was battle ready for the elections, he said, ““I’m ready to contest if the party is prepared to field me.”

Just like Yathindra, Vijayendra is also a novice in electoral politics. The BJP believes that the significant number of Lingayats in the constituency will be a major factor boosting his chances.

Preetam: Son of BJP leader Parimala Nagappa

Preetam Nagappa, son of Parimala Nagappa, is also in the fray and is likely to get the ticket to contest from the Hanur constituency. Senior BJP leader V Somanna, who had built a strong base in Hanur over the past four years is likely to lose the seat to Preetam, sources say. "Yeddyurappa is not happy that Somanna tried to sabotage the Parivarthana Yatra in Hanur by asking party workers not to attend. Yeddyurappa told Somanna that he will not get a ticket this time in a meeting held in his residence on April 1," the source added.

The JD(S), on the other hand, led by former PM HD Deve Gowda, is also seen as dynasty of sorts given that the positions of party National and State President are held by him and his son, HD Kumaraswamy.

 According to sources in the party, other than Kumaraswamy and his brother HD Revanna, their spouses Anita Kumaraswamy and Bhavani Revanna are also in the fray.

Prajwal: Grandson of HD Deve Gowda

Prajwal, son of Revanna, is tipped to get a ticket from the party. According to sources, he is quite popular among the cadre in Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari constituency. He had also courted controversy in the past by saying that people with suitcases (money) were getting tickets, while party veterans were left unnoticed.

 Nikhil: Son of Kumaraswamy

Actor by profession, Nikhil is touted to contest the elections from the party stronghold of Old Mysore region. Some in the party say that Nikhil, who was seen as reluctant to enter politics,  has now been forced into the fray due to the rise of Prajwal within the party.

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