Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) is likely to field Anitha Kumaraswamy, the CM’s wife and former legislator, in the soon to be scheduled bypoll for the Ramanagaram seat which was vacated by him, said two people aware of the development.

Interestingly, JD(S) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda had categorically said about four months ago that only his two sons, Kumaraswamy and H.D. Revanna, will contest the May assembly polls, to counter the branding of the regional party as a “family-run party".

“She is the most likely candidate as of now," one of the two people mentioned above said, on condition of anonymity.

Kumaraswamy had successfully contested from Ramanagaram and neighbouring Channapatna seats, but had given up the former to keep the JD(S) tally from shrinking further.

Ramanagaram, a constituency dominated by the Vokkaliga community, has been a bastion of the JD(S) since Kumaraswamy successfully contested for the state legislature in 2004. The Gowda family, especially that of Kumaraswamy’s, is unlikely to vacate this seat for anyone else, said the second person mentioned above.

The development comes at a time when the dates for the bypoll of two seats—Ramanagaram and Jamkhandi—are expected to be announced shortly.

Jamkhandi fell vacant when former Union minister Siddu Nyamagouda died in a road accident on 28 May, shortly after he won the election. The Congress is considering fielding Nyamagouda’s son in the bypolls, the second person said.

Kumaraswamy held a meeting with JD(S) workers in Ramanagaram on Wednesday. Speculations have been rife that the chief minister’s actor son, Nikhil Gowda, will contest this seat, but many within the party have denied the rumours.

Some party members say that though the entry of Nikhil Gowda and H.D. Revanna’s son, Prajwal Revanna, into politics is imminent, this will have to wait at least till next year’s Lok Sabha polls, where the JD(S) and Congress have decided to jointly contest the elections.

With negotiations on seat-sharing for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are yet to formally begin between the coalition partners, the candidature for the bypolls will help JD(S) increase its tally from 37 in the 224-seat assembly.

The Congress had won 78 seats in the assembly elections held this year, while the Bharatiya Janata Party won 104.

Close