The Congress late on Monday night named Karnataka minister Krishna Byre Gowda as its candidate for Bangalore North setting up a high profile contest with Union Minister and incumbent MP Sadananda Gowda.
Other than being a minister in two successive governments, Krishna Byre Gowda represents Karnataka in the GST council.
He will file his nomination at the Bengaluru DC’s office at 1pm on Tuesday, he announced on Twitter.
“I am honoured to get the opportunity to file my nomination as the candidate for BLR North#LokSabha Constituency @ DC Office,Near MysoreBank Circle,KG Road. I request all the leaders,Party workers & well wishers to participate & support.Nomination filing is today 26/03/19 @ 1pm,” he tweeted.
I am honoured to get the opportunity to file my nomination as the candidate for BLR North #LokSabha Constituency @ DC Office,Near MysoreBank Circle,KG Road. I request all the leaders,Party workers & well wishers to participate & support.Nomination filing is today 26/03/19 @ 1pm— Krishna Byre Gowda (@krishnabgowda) March 25, 2019
Incidentally, Byre Gowda, who is the Rural Development Minister, is a two-time MLA from Byatarayanapura segment which falls under the same Lok Sabha constituency.
Bangalore North being home to many Vokkaligas may have prompted the Congress to go with a leader of the community. The Congress will also want to consolidate the significant number of minority votes in the segment.
The decision to field the sitting minister comes with less than a day left to file nominations for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The last date of filing nominations for the 14 seats in Karnataka going to polls in the first phase is Tuesday.
In a rather late and surprising decision, coalition partner JD(S) gave up the seat for the Congress contrary to the original seat sharing agreement between the ruling coalition in the state.
Sadananda Gowda, a former CM, defeated his nearest rival C Narayana Swamy of the Congress with a comfortable margin of over two lakh votes in 2014, riding the Modi wave. Until then, he had won both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in coastal Karnataka.
Meanwhile, in May 2018 assembly elections, Byre Gowda managed to retain his seat by a slim margin of 5,671 votes against BJP’s A Ravi.
A few days earlier, speculation was rife that sitting MP and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda might contest from Bangalore North.
Sensing this possibility, with Deve Gowda’s grandson Prajwal Revanna being given the JD(S) fiefdom of Hassan for his electoral debut, Sadananda Gowda last week had spoken about not being afraid to contest against the former PM.