Bengaluru: It's now official. The by-elections to three Lok Sabha seats of Mandya, Ballari and Shivamogga and the two assembly seats of Ramanagara and Jamakhandi will be held on November 3 and the counting will take place on November 6.
The Election Commission of India, which announced the calender of events for the bypolls on Saturday, said the last date for filing of nominations was October 16 and the last date for withdrawal, October 20.
Mr C.S. Puttaraju of JD (S) who had quit his Mandya LS seat, returned to the assembly so, the seats was lying vacant. Similarly, BJP’s B.S. Yeddyurappa and B.Sriramulu quit the Shivamogga and Ballari LS seats respectively after they won the assembly polls.
Those who will get elected in the by-polls now, will have a tenure of a mere eight or nine months as the present LS goes to the polls in early 2019. The two assembly seats which will go to bypolls are Ramanagara and Jamakhandi. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy who got elected from two seats, retained Channapattna and resigned from Ramanagara. In Jamakhandi, the newly elected Congress MLA, Siddu Nyame Gouda had passed away forcing a by-poll now.
Who will be the likely candidates?Shivamogga
No sooner were the by-elections announced then BJP state chief, B.S. Yeddyurappa declared that his son, B.Y. Raghavendra would be the party candidate for Shivamogga.
Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy is likely to pull out all stops to help his coalition partner, the Congress, wrest the seat from the BJP as the defeat could psychologically weaken Mr Yeddyurappa, who has been allegedly making attempts to topple his government. But should Mr. Raghavendra win, the BJP leader could boast of his hold over his home turf. Meanwhile , the Congress is said to be considering Mr Kimmane Rathnakar and two other contenders for the Shivamogga ticket. The Shivamogga bypoll has become necessary as Mr. Yeddyurappa, who represented it in parliament, resigned from it after winning the May assembly elections
It is a matter of prestige for the Gowda family to win the Mandya Lok Sabha seat as it represented it in parliament until recently. Mr C.S. Puttaraju of the JD (S), who represented it, resigned as Member of Parliament to return to the state assembly in May. Should the party retain the seat, it could see its bargaining power increase for the LS elections next May.
Going by sources, it could field Mr Kumaraswamy’s son, Nikhil from the constituency. It is also possible that it may decide to field a new face, Ashwini Gowda, to avoid criticism of always promoting the Gowda family, and opt for Mr Nikhil in May when the parliamentary elections are due, they add. Either way, the party stands a good chance at winning if it is backed by its coalition partner, the Congress in the poll.
While Mr B Sriramulu of the BJP stepped down as MP of Ballari following his election to the state assembly in May, his sister, J. Shanta could take his place if she is fielded by the BJP in the bypoll and defeats the competition. The Congress could lose from the constituency, giving the BJP the win it is looking for if the ongoing cold war between mining barons like Anand Singh and Nagendra mars the by-poll. Otherwise, the party does have a shot at winning from it.
But those who are elected in these LS bypolls, will now have a tenure of only eight or nine months as the next parliamentary elections are due in mid-2019.
Ramanagara Assembly bypoll
Going by sources, the Janata Dal (Secular) is likely to field Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita from Ramnagara in the hope that she will win the seat he vacated. Having won from Channapatna as well in the last assembly poll, Mr Kumaraswamy chose to retain it and give up Ramanagara, resulting in the bypoll. Should the Congress back Ms Anita from Ramanagara, her victory is a forgone in the Vokkaliga dominated constituency, no matter who the BJP fields.
Jamakhandi Assembly bypoll
The Congress is likely to field its deceased MLA, Siddu Nyame Gowda’s son or wife to harness the sympathy wave, according to party sources. It was the MLA's sudden death that has led to the bypoll. The BJP could field former minister, Murugesh Nirani’s brother, Sangamesh, who is keen on entering the fray and had proved his might as a rebel in the May poll.
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