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Home / Elections / Lok Sabha Elections 2019 /  Congress scrambles to find candidate after JD(S) returns Bengaluru North seat

BENGALURU : The Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) has decided to return the Bengaluru North seat back to the Congress party due to its inability to find a suitable candidate after former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda chose to contest from Tumakuru (Tumkur) parliamentary constituency.

“@INCIndia is thankful to Shri H D Deve Gowda ji and the JD(S) for their kind gesture of giving back the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha seat to the Congress. Together, let us reclaim democracy," KC Venugopal, general secretary and All India Congress Committee's Karnataka in-charge, wrote on Twitter in the early hours on Monday.

The decision to return the seat shows how both the parties were trying to secure a higher seat share to increase their respective individual tally but with limited options for winnable candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Bengaluru North landed in the share of the JD (S) as it was believed then that Deve Gowda would contest from this seat to help the coalition bag at least one constituency from the clutches of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“It’s too late to take back responsibility," said a senior Congress leader, requesting not to be named. The Congress is now forced to finalise a candidate who had receded from the race owing to the possibility of Deve Gowda’s candidature.

The Congress is considering the candidature of BL Shankar, Prof Rajeev Gowda and M Narayanswamy for the seat.

“If this was done a week ago, we could have finished the process but now we have not more than a day," said the Congress leader cited above. The Congress is being extremely patient with its coalition partner to help the party retain its alliance with the regional outfit and bring down the PM Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.

But the ground situation has not been favourable to the two parties whose workers are rebelling at the thought of having to overcome decades of rivalry with each other for the parliamentary polls, scheduled to commence in the second week of April.

SP Muddahanumegowda, the sitting member of parliament from Tumakuru, has decided to file his nomination as a Congress candidate even though the seat has been ceded to the JD(S), setting up a clash between the two parties and even before the entry of Deve Gowda into the district, about 70 km from Bengaluru. Deve Gowda is scheduled to file his nominations on Monday.

Deve Gowda had been scouting for a safe seat after he gave up his bastion, Hassan, for his 28-year-old grandson Prajwal Revanna. The JD(S) is facing resistance even in places like the farmer heartland of Mandya, about 100 km from Bengaluru, where the party has named Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy as its candidate. Sensing the problems between workers who are unwilling to work with each other, the BJP has decided to cash in by not fielding a candidate in the district and instead support Sumalatha Amarnath or Sumalatha Ambareesh, who has filed her nominations as an independent. Sumalatha, the actor-turned-politician, has become a refuge for disgruntled Congress and JD(S) workers who are unhappy about being "overlooked" to promote the interests of the Gowda household.

Nikhil is also scheduled to file his nominations on Monday. 

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