A file photo of Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy (PTI)
A file photo of Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy (PTI)

Karnataka: Focus shifts on assembly by-polls after Lok Sabha elections

  • The Congress-JDS coalition announced the candidature of Subhash Rathod as its choice from Chincholi and Kusumavathi Shivalli from Kundgol seats
  • BJP has announced Umesh Jadhav’s son Avinash as its candidate from Chincholi and Chikkanagouda Patil from Kundgol

Bengaluru: The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition on Sunday announced the candidature of Subhash Rathod as its choice from the Chincholi assembly seat and Kusumavathi Shivalli from the Kundgol seat, that goes to the by-polls on 19 May.

Though polling for all 28 parliamentary constituencies concluded on 23 April, political parties have barely got a breather as they have begun preparations for the upcoming by-polls in two assembly seats to further insulate its government from the persistent onslaught by the BJP.

Chincholi fell vacant after its legislator, Umesh Jadhav resigned from the Congress and contested the ongoing Lok Sabha polls on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket while Kundgol assembly seat is going to the polls after the death of its representative, C.S.Shivalli. The Congress fielded late Shivalli’s wife, Kusumavathi, to retain the seat and also ward off more attempts by the BJP to bring down the government.

The death of Shivalli in March brought down the strength of the coalition to 117 that includes 79 from the Congress and 37 from the JD(S) and one from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The BJP has 104 out of the total 224 seats in the house.

The BJP has announced Umesh Jadhav’s son Avinash as its candidate from Chincholi and Chikkanagouda Patil from Kundgol.

Soon after the candidature was made public, the two sides exchanged barbs over practicing dynasty politics and poaching.

The BJP said that the Lok Sabha ticket from Bengaluru South was denied to Tejaswini Ananth Kumar,wife of late former union minister Ananth Kumar as the party did not believe in dynasty politics.

Congress supporters attacked the BJP for poaching its legislator, Jadhav and now giving his son the ticket for the by-polls.

The BJP took a dig at Congress for the candidature of Shivalli's wife for Kundgol.

Both parties are trying to win both by-polls to strengthen its numbers in the lower house of the state assembly.

The BJP is confident of forming the government after the results of the ongoing parliamentary polls is announced on 23 May, as it believes that the coalitions differences will overshadow the reasons why the two traditional rivals came together in the first place.

The Congress-JD(S) has thwarted several alleged attempts by the BJP to lure its leaders with monetary benefits and plum ministerial berths.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, the former minister has already announced to quit the Congress adding to the problems of the H.D.Kumaraswamy led government, whose stability has been in doubt since the two parties came together to circumvent the fractured verdict handed by the electorate last year.

The coalition government has announced to complete its full five year term in office.

J.N.Ganesh, the Congress legislator from Kampli has also indicated that he would like to resolve issues with Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh, that had impacted the poll preparations in the mineral rich district of Ballari (Ballari).

The likely compromise giving the Congress some hope to get its house back in order in Karnataka where its coalition with the JD(S) has been strained due to the constant bickering between leaders and workers of the two parties that share a bitter and violent past.

The drunken brawl between Ganesh and Singh happened in the early hours of 20 January, when all Congress legislators were holed up in Eagleton Resorts to shield them from any poaching attempts by the opposition.

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