Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
11,913.455.3
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Congress hits campaign mode in K'taka; BJP, JD(S) to wait & watch

Although the Congress has yet to officially launch its election campaign, Siddaramaiah who was appointed as the leader of the opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, has unofficially kickstarted election work.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 21, 2019, 11.24 AM IST
0Comments
Agencies
sidharamahia
“Siddaramaiah is using bypolls as an opportunity to re-establish himself as well to organise the party at the grassroots"
BENGALURU: The Congress has taken an uncharacteristic lead in getting into campaign mode in Karnataka, unlike in other pollbound states, as the JD(S) and the ruling BJP have yet to get their act together ahead of the December 5 bypolls to 15 Assembly seats which fell vacant following resignations by as many Congress and JD(S) MLAs, leading to the collapse of the coalition regime in July.

While the ruling BJP appears to be waiting for clarity on the resignations of 17 MLAs, the JD(S) is battling hard to contain internal bickering.

Although the Congress has yet to officially launch its election campaign, Siddaramaiah, who has gained much strength after the party high command recently appointed him as the leader of the opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, has unofficially kickstarted election work.

On Saturday, the former chief minister addressed a rally in his home district of Mysuru, where by-election will be held in Hunasuru constituency. The party leadership has also announced the names of probable candidates so that they can reach out to voters.

Party members said the former CM, who is a formidable leader of the backward classes, Dalits and minorities, sees bypolls as an opportunity to re-establish himself as the most influential face of the Congress in the state. The challenge before Siddaramaiah, who is also the head of the Congress Legislature Party, is to quell internal bickering in the party that has become more visible in the past few days. A section of senior Congress leaders who are originally from the Congress, including KH Muniyappa and BK Hariprasad, are said to be unhappy with Siddaramaiah’s leadership, sparking division in the party on the basis of “natives” versus “outsiders”.

“Siddaramaiah is using bypolls as an opportunity to re-establish himself as well to organise the party at the grassroots. The challenge before him is to take everybody along,” said a Congress functionary, who did not wish to be identified.

On the other hand, the BJP and the JD(S) have not given any hints on probable candidates contesting bypolls, in an apparent indication that there is a likelihood of the bypolls not taking place at all. It is learnt that both the parties have decided to wait until October 22 for the Supreme Court order in the case of the Congress-JD(S) disqualified MLAs. Chief minister B S Yediyurappa has said that the party leadership will finalise candidates only after the court decides on the disqualification of 17 MLAs, which they have contested.

“If the court gives a go-ahead, we will immediately jump into the fray. But for now, we will wait for the court order,” BJP spokesman S Prakash told ET.

Simmering dissent in the JD(S) seems to have forced the party leadership to go slow on the bypolls. Party bosses are doing a tightrope walk with infighting over candidate selection and the threat of a few sitting legislators quitting the party.

JD(S) spokesman Ramesh Babu said that even though the party leadership has finalised candidates, it will be announced only after the court order.

“We are not sure if the by-election will be held in December in the first place. Since there are chances that the court could refer the case to a constitutional bench, which then would delay the bypolls, we prefer to wait and watch,” he said.

Also Read

Shivakumar wades into controversy by waving JD(S) flag

Buzz of JD(S) and BJP patch-up as bypolls near

Nitish Kumar's JD(U) for 'proportionate representation' in Modi Cabinet

Nitish Kumar elected JD(U) president unopposed for another term

Congress and JD(S) slam govt formation by Yeddyurappa

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times Business News App for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service