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Home >Elections >Lok Sabha Elections 2019 >Congress picks Krishna Byre Gowda as its candidate for Bengaluru North

BENGALURU : The Congress party on Monday state cabinet minister, Krishna Byre Gowda as its choice for the Bengaluru North seat ending speculation over the constituency that was returned to the national party by its alliance partner barely 24 hours ago.

Gowda is a serving legislator from Byatarayanapura in Bengaluru and minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj in the Karnataka chief minister H.D.Kumaraswamy led coalition government. Though Gowda was himself reluctant to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the party left with no choice after the Janata Dal (Secular) decided to return the seat for a lack of a suitable candidate.

Gowda had led discussions among the other hopefuls for the seat but was finally asked to take up the responsibility with barely any time left to prepare.

Gowda will now take on union minister and former Karnataka CM, D.V.Sadananda Gowda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Vokkaliga dominated seat.

Gowda could not be immediately reached for comment.

Gowda had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Bengaluru South against BJP's Ananth Kumar.

The Congress will now contest 21 out of the 28 seats in the state while the JD(S) will contest seven. Though both parties wanted a higher seat share, the dearth of candidates forcing last minute decisions that could hand the advantage to the BJP.

Former Prime Minister H.D.Deve Gowda was likely to contest from the Bengaluru North seat but the former decided instead to file his nominations from Tumakuru (Tumkur) parliamentary constituency. His decision adding to the simmering tensions between the coalition partners and its workers, who are unwilling to overcome past differences and work with each other.

S.P.Muddahanumegowda, the sitting Congress MP from Tumakuru filed his nomination on Monday despite the alliance agreement.

The Congress is trying to keep the alliance with the JD(S) intact as it would help the party stitch up more such partnerships across the country to help bring down the PM Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre.

But its delayed decisions so far in Karnataka and especially Bengaluru is likely to dent the party’s chances. The Congress that won 15 out of the 28 assembly seats in the city had its best chance to gain some lost ground in the three parliamentary seats in urban Bengaluru where it last won in 1999.

The party is hopeful that its alliance with the JD(S) will help it bring down the BJP to single digit numbers in Karnataka.

But there has been stiff resistance in parts of south Karnataka where the two parties have shared a bitter and violent history. A section of the Congress and JD(S) workers have decided to back Sumalatha Amarnath or Sumalatha Ambareesh's indpendent candidature instead of Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who they feel was imposed on them by overlooking interests of local leaders. 

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