The JD(S) and Congress in Karnataka confirmed its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha and State Assembly bye-elections scheduled for November 3.
The Congress confirmed that VS Ugrappa will contest from the Ballari Lok Sabha constituency and Anand Nyamagouda, son of the deceased Jamkhandi MLA Siddu Nyamagouda Patil, will contest from the Jamkhandi Assembly constituency.
The JD(S) meanwhile confirmed Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of HD Kumaraswamy as its candidate in the Ramanagara Assembly bye-election while Madhu Bangarappa and R Shivaramegowda will contest in the Shivamogga and Mandya parliamentary election respectively.
"This is the semifinal to the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. We have decided candidates in the five constituencies after a meeting with state Congress leaders," CM Kumaraswamy told reporters at the JD(S) party office on Monday.
Congress leaders too reiterated that the two parties which are currently in power in the state had agreed to share the seats and nominate one joint candidate in the five constituencies going to polls. “It is not true that we don’t have candidates. It’s part of our strategy to ally with the JD(S),” KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters on Tuesday.
In the lead up to the State Assembly elections earlier this year, the party's supremo HD Deve Gowda had raised objections against dynasty politics and limited the number of candidates from his family to just Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna. This meant that several other aspirants including their spouses Anita Kumaraswamy, Bhavani Revanna and Prajwal Revanna, son of HD Revanna, were denied party tickets.
On Monday, CM Kumaraswamy defended the party's decisions to field his wife Anita Kumaraswamy in the bye-elections. "It is not my decision. Our party workers came together and said that someone in my family should stand in my place since I am relinquishing my seat. This constituency loves me and my family. I did not campaign extensively in this area but they have blessed me," he said. The bye-elections in Ramanagara was necessitated after Kumaraswamy was elected to the Assembly from two constituencies - Ramanagara and Channapatna.
Meanwhile, Madhu Bangarappa, son of former Karnataka Chief Minister S Bangarappa, was announced as the JD(S) candidate in the Shivamogga Lok Sabha bye-election. Madhu will face BJP's BY Raghavendra, son of BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa. A producer-turned-politician, Madhu won from the Sorab Assembly seat during the 2013 elections but lost to his brother Kumar from the same constituency earlier this year.
HD Kumaraswamy alongside Madhu Bangarappa at the JD(S) Party Office in Bengaluru.
R Shivaramegowda, a businessman and educationist, will contest for JD(S) from Mandya. BJP has not confirmed its candidate in Mandya yet.
In Ballari, the Congress eventually settled on VS Ugrappa as its candidate. Party insiders say Ugrappa is a party loyalist and is close to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The party has picked him over the preferred candidate of DK Shivakumar. The decision was made in spite of lobbying by Venkatesh Prasad, brother of Ballari MLA B Nagendra, who was reportedly the choice of Ballari District Minister in-charge DK Shivakumar.
The battle in Ballari was earlier seen as the clash of the candidates handpicked by Shivakumar and his nemesis in the BJP - B Sreeramulu, whose sister J Shantha was nominated as the BJP candidate.