After dilly-dallying for weeks, the JD(S) finally announced that it will enter the fray. This comes a day after state JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy's meeting with party activists at Nanjangud and at Gundulpet. While at Nanjangud, party activists were emphatic that the party should not let the bypolls go without contesting, local leaders at Gundulpet asked him to field a candidate and send out a message that the JD(S) intends to fight the assembly polls and come to power in the state.
Bowing to demands by the activists, Kumaraswamy on Saturday announced that the party will contest the bypolls. Party activists have said that they want to take the fight to the opposition camp. We will abide by their decision, he told reporters. However, the party is yet to announce its candidates for both segments. Kumaraswamy said there are a couple of local leaders who want to fight the bypolls. It will be discussed and decided at the party core committee, he explained. "The party has fought 20 bypolls since Congress came to power in 2013. We will fight in Nanjangud and Gundulpet too," he stated.
Tracking the political developments since former minister V Srinivas Prasad quit his assembly membership leading to the bypoll at Nanjangud, he said vested interests tried to create confusion claiming that Prasad will join the JD(S). "Later, the chief of the Nanjangud unit of the party, Kalale Keshavmurthy, hobnobbed with Congress leaders, including CM Siddaramaiah. Keshavmurthy resigned from the party in January but claimed that he had mine and former PM H D Deve Gowda's blessings. It is a lie and misleading," he asserted.
He contended that Congress doesn't have a credible candidate to fight the Nanjangud bypoll and has poached Keshavmurthy.
Recommended By Colombia
This comes amidst Keshavmurthy beginning his campaign for the bypoll after crossing over to the Congress. The prospective Congress nominee, who has kept a low profile since three weeks though he met the CM, has started his drive visiting villages in Hullahalli hobli in Nanjangud taluk and meeting voters.
Meanwhile, Prasad continued his attack on the CM. He reiterated his stand that he will quit active politics if he loses the Nanjangud bypoll and asked whether Siddaramaiah is ready to accept the challenge? Prasad had said that the bypoll will be last he is contesting. After the CM's vow that he will ensure Prasad's defeat by camping in the constituency, the senior dalit leader has said that he will retire from active politics too if Siddaramaiah ensures his defeat.
CM's explanation awaited
Former minister S A Ramdas on Saturday sought an explanation from Siddaramaiah as to why he has not initiated action against small scale industries minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and KPCC women's wing chief Lakshmi Hebbalkar over the IT raids on their properties. He also sought an explanation from the CM on the allegations over receiving kickbacks for the steel flyover. The city BJP chief B H Manjunath said the party is hosting a rally in the city on Monday to protest against corruption. Activists from the city and rural areas will take out a rally and register their protest, he stated.