Bypolls: Congress starts early preparations while JD(S) hints at not contesting

 thehindu.com  11/22/2020 19:29:32 

Smarting under the recent debacle in Sira and Rajarajeshwarinagar byelections, the Congress has started early preparations for the bypolls in Maski and Basavakalyan Assembly constituencies even as the Janata Dal (Secular) on Sunday hinted at not contesting the elections for which the dates are yet to be announced.

Bypoll in Maski has been necessitated by the resignation of Prathapgouda Patil, who was elected on the Congress ticket in 2018 but shifted loyalties to the BJP with others, resulting in the fall of 14-month-old H.D. Kumaraswamy-led JD(S)Congress coalition in July 2019. The Basavakalyan legislator, B. Narayan Rao of the Congress, died recently.

The two bypolls  similar to the ones held in Sira and R.R. Nagar  will not have any consequence on the stability of the government but are expected to be contested fiercely by both the Congress, which is looking to retain both the seats, and the BJP, which wants to wrest them. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappas son and BJP vice-president B.Y. Vijayendra, who has been credited to the victories in the byelections in K.R. Pet and Sira, where the BJP hardly had a presence, has already been working in Basavakalyan.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said the party would put up a firm fight in both the segments following the defeats in Sira and R.R. Nagar. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar on Sunday started his tour of Kalyana Karnataka region, and he, along with Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, is expected to shortlist the candidates before sending the names to Delhi for approval.

BJPs Basangouda Turvihal, who lost to Mr. Patil by a slender margin of 213 votes in 2018, is expected to be join the Congress on Monday, and an announcement to this effect was made by Mr. Shivakumar. Party sources said Mr. Turvihal was likely to get the ticket. Sources said, Congress leaders tour of the region even before the announcement of the election dates comes in the light of earlier defeats and they do not want to delay poll preparations. Addressing a meeting of party workers and leaders at Hosapete in Ballari district on Sunday, Mr. Shivakumar urged the leaders to unite to secure wins for the Congress. There is no misunderstanding between leaders in the Congress. Many JD(S) and BJP workers have met me to join the Congress. They will be taken into the party fold after holding discussions with district leaders, he added. He also accused the Yediyurappa-led BJP government of meting out discriminatory treatment to constituencies represented by Congress legislators.

On Sunday, Mr. Kumaraswamy told presspersons here that contesting the bypolls was of no significance, indicating that the party would not field candidates. He said the BJP had changed the format of the byelections, hinting at misuse of official machinery and money power. He, however, said the party would take a call after deliberations. Incidentally, senior JD(S) leader and former Minister P.G.R. Sindhia had lost the 2018 election in Basavakalyan, which has a sizeable Maratha electors.

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism

Dear subscriber,

Thank you!

Your support for our journalism is invaluable. Its a support for truth and fairness in journalism. It has helped us keep apace with events and happenings.

The Hindu has always stood for journalism that is in the public interest. At this difficult time, it becomes even more important that we have access to information that has a bearing on our health and well-being, our lives, and livelihoods. As a subscriber, you are not only a beneficiary of our work but also its enabler.

We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers will deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Suresh Nambath

« Go back