Karnataka: BJP’s bypoll candidate back in Congress; boost for Kumaraswamy’s wife
With politician L Chandrashekar’s quick return to his party Congress just a month after he joined the BJP, CM Kumaraswamy’s first wife’s election from Ramanagara seems to be a forgone conclusion
With Karnataka politician L Chandrashekar’s quick return to his party Congress just a month after he joined the BJP, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's wife’s election from Ramanagara seat seems to be a forgone conclusion.
Anitha Kumaraswamy, is contesting bypolls on Saturday as the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from Ramanagara, and now she has no strong BJP rival after Chandrashekhar’s return to the Congress.
The BJP candidate, L Chandrashekar, on Thursday, November 1, announced that he had quit the party to return to the Congress.
Chandrashekar, 49, who was earlier a Congress leader, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on October 10 to contest the Ramanagara by-poll on the party ticket.
"BJP leaders had promised their support to me when I decided to contest on the party ticket from Ramanagara. However, none of them (BJP leaders) even came forward to campaign for me. So, I made the decision to quit the party and return to Congress," he said.
As Chandrashekar’s decision comes two days ahead of the by-poll and post the last date of withdrawal of candidatures, an Election Commission official said his name will continue to remain on the Electronic Voting Machines
The by-election to the southern state's two Assembly segments—Ramanagara and Jamkhandi—and three Lok Sabha constituencies—Ballari, Shivamogga and Mandya—will be held on Saturday, November 3. The vote count will take place on November 6.
Coalition partners Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and Congress are contesting the by-election together in a bid to defeat the BJP.
It is unlikely to have any impact on numbers but for both the BJP and Congress, the Ramanagara contest had become a prestige battle; some went as far as to call it a referendum of sorts on the Chief Minister.
Anitha Kumaraswamy has been a lawmaker before from Madhugiri. She lost in her next bid from Channapatna, which neighbours Ramanagara.
Ramanagara is situated in a Janata Dal (Secular) stronghold in south Karnataka. The party's coalition partner in the state government, the Congress, is supporting Ms Kumaraswamy in the by-polls. With her only other rival now on their side, her supporters feel this one is in the bag.