BIDAR: The JD(S), which was searching for a suitable candidate after the departure of its two-term MLA Mallikarjun Khuba, has found a powerful candidate, senior party leader P.G.R. Sindhia, to contest from the Basavakalyan constituency.
Party sources said Mr Sindhia too has agreed to contest from the constituency. JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda is expected here in a couple of days to announce Mr Sindhia’s candidature.
It is evident from the results so far that this constituency bordering Maharashtra is a strong bastion of the Janata Dal. Except in 2008, the constituency has returned only Janata Parivar candidates since 1983. Mr Basavaraj Patil Attur won the seat in 1983, 1985, 1989 and 1994, while Mr Maruthi Mule won in 1999. Subsequently Mallikarjun Khuba won the seat in 2004 and 2013. Even Mr Maruthi Muley, who suffered defeats by contesting on the Congress symbol in 1985, 1989 and 1994 elections against Mr Attur, tasted success only after contesting from the JD(S) in 1999. The trend changed only in 2008 when the BJP Lingayat strongman, B.S. Yeddyurappa, swept to power in the state. Mr Attur won the seat for BJP in 2008. Two major factors that reportedly influenced the decision to field Mr Sindhia are sizeable population of Maratha voters and Mr Sindhia’s affinity with the constituency and Bidar district. Though Lingayats are the dominant community in the constituency, there are over 45,000 Maratha voters who can swingthe results. Besides, the JD(S) wants to bank on Muslims, who are also in sizeable number and have traditionally supported JD(S).
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