Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka on Tuesday recommended the name of B.Y. Raghavendra, son of former chief minister B.S.Yeddyurappa, as the candidate for the Shivamogga Lok Sabha byelection that would help the party retain its hold over the district in the run-up to next year’s parliamentary polls.

On expected lines, the party, which concluded its core committee meeting late on Tuesday, said that it had also finalized the name of J. Shantha, the sister of Bellary strongman B. Sriramulu, as the candidate for the mineral-rich district. The party has nominated Shrikant Subarao Kulkarni as its candidate from Jamkhandi assembly constituency where the BJP had lost to Siddu Bhimappa Nyamgoud by a margin of less than 3,000 votes. Nyamgoud had died in a road accident in May, leaving the seat vacant. The Congress is likely to nominate Nyamgoud’s son.

Arvind Limbavali, the general secretary of the state BJP, said on Tuesday that the names will now be sent to the national election committee for its approval. The BJP’s candidate list comes after the election authorities said bypolls for three Lok Sabha constituencies and two assembly seats would be held on 3 November. However, the BJP has not named candidates for Mandya parliamentary seat nor the Ramanagaram assembly constituency, which was vacated by Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who successfully contested from two seats.

The bypolls for the three Lok Sabha constituencies, left vacant after the MPs resigned after successfully contesting the assembly polls, is expected to last only a few months before it heads for general elections next year.

Limbavali said that Yeddyurappa will take into account the political development in these two constituencies before naming a candidate. The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S), who came together in a post-poll alliance to keep the BJP out of power in Karnataka, have announced that they will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together. The BJP, which does not enjoy much support in the Vokkaliga-dominated seats, is hoping that some defectors would switch sides in the coming days.

Though the JD(S) is yet to make it official, Kumaraswamy’s wife, Anitha Kumaraswamy, is the likely candidate from Ramanagaram, a stronghold of the regional outfit, led by former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda.

The two assembly bypolls could help the JD(S)-Congress coalition get stronger or tip the scales in favour of the BJP, who need just nine seats to get a simple majority in the 224-seat house. The Congress has 81 seats which include the support of two independents, the JD(S) has 37, which includes one Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator while the BJP has 104 legislators.

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