In Karnataka, parties yet to name candidates for bypolls2 min read . Updated: 11 Nov 2019, 11:47 PM IST
- BJP, Congress, JD(S) are awaiting SC order on plea to disqualify 17 MLAs that’s likely tomorrow
- The bypolls come at a time when political uncertainty plagues all the three major parties in Karnataka
BENGALURU : The nomination process for bypolls to 15 assembly constituencies of Karnataka, scheduled to be held on 5 December, began on Monday.
But the three main political parties are yet to finalize their candidates for elections that could decide the future of the three-month-old B.S.Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
The three major political parties in Karnataka—BJP, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S)—are awaiting a Supreme Court verdict on a disqualification petition filed by 17 former legislators, listed for orders on Wednesday.
In addition, the Congress and the JD(S) are also embroiled in their own internal battles and problems, which could damage what is probably their biggest opportunity to bring down the BJP.
The BJP came to power by capitalizing on simmering dissent in the Opposition ranks and allegedly engineered defections that led to the collapse of the 14-month-old H.D.Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition.
The bypolls come at a time when political uncertainty plagues all the three major parties in a state that has been struggling to get back to normalcy after being hit by one of the worst floods in its history that has dealt a blow to a sagging agricultural economy.
“We will send a set of names to the high command today and should have them by the 13th or 14th (of November)," Eshwar Khandre, working president of the Congress in Karnataka, said.
The Congress party is reportedly trying to pay back the BJP in its own coin by exploiting the presence of the 17 rebels in the ruling party.
Raju Kage, a former BJP legislator from Kagwad in north Karnataka who unsuccessfully contested last year’s assembly elections, on Monday met Congress leader Siddaramaiah.
“We will announce our list on Wednesday," said a JD(S) spokesperson, adding that the former prime minister H.D.Deve Gowda-led regional outfit will contest all 15 seats.
Though the rebels are credited with bringing down the Congress-JD(S) coalition and inserting the BJP in power, workers from the saffron outfit are angry that they have been ignored in order to accommodate the disqualified former legislators.
Yediyurappa became the biggest beneficiary of the coalition’s collapse and has the most to lose if he cannot contain the growing dissent in his own party and secure at least eight wins out of the total 15, which he needs to retain power.
Even that would only give the BJP government a simple majority in the state assembly, leaving it as vulnerable as the coalition found itself in the months leading up to its collapse in July.