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Jilted by Their Parties, Karnataka Netas Hop, Skip and Jump for Election Tickets

Dreams of several MLAs, who were eyeing their seats for the second time, came crashing down after Congress announced its candidates last week. This led to disgruntled leaders hopping to other major parties.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:April 19, 2018, 10:40 AM IST
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Jilted by Their Parties, Karnataka Netas Hop, Skip and Jump for Election Tickets
Disappointed BJP MLA C H Ramachandra Reddy along with his son and daughter-in-law joined JDS (News18)
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Bengaluru: As BJP and JDS stand with open arms and welcoming eyes, the crestfallen ticket aspirants of Congress no longer have a reason to remain disappointed. It’s a party-hoppers’ galore for defectors in Karnataka with less than a month left for polling.

Those who are aspiring for a ticket still have chances as the BJP is yet to announce candidates in 70 seats and JDS in 98. While the saffron party is “waiting for good candidates” to join them, JDS is already gleaming after inducting 11 ‘unhappy souls’.

Dreams of several MLAs, who were eyeing their seats for the second time, came crashing down after Congress announced its candidates last week. This led to disgruntled leaders hopping to other major parties.

BJP CM-face B S Yeddyurappa, in fact, went ahead and announced one of them, G V Balaram, as saffron party’s candidate from Pavagada, triggering protests within the party.

Party workers from both parties vandalised their respective offices across the state. While supporters of disgruntled Congress workers set tyres afire on highway, unhappy with the inductions, BJP workers damaged chairs and furniture at their offices.

However, remaining unfazed by voices of resentment within the party, Yeddyurappa said, “Our third list of candidates will come out in a day or two, but then we will still keep about 20-22 seats pending – we are waiting for good candidates from other parties to join us, anyone bringing with him the winnability factor is welcome.”

With just five seats remaining where Congress is yet to announce candidates, the discontent ticket aspirants have no option but to try their chances in the opposition parties, especially after BSY’s ‘welcome gesture’.

Also, caste, which plays a major part in certain Assembly segments, would be an important factor.

A candidate who is rich enough to be able to fund his campaigns without looking to the party for anything for his segment other than brand name – that would be a big bonus, of course.

The Janata Dal Secular -- the important third cog in the wheel of Karnataka politics which hopes to be a king-maker if there is a hung Assembly -- announced that they, too, had bagged about eleven unhappy leaders from the BJP and Congress.

JDS-New Members
Ramachandrappa, his son Jagadish and daughter-in-law Amulya joined JDS. Amulya is a popular Kannada actor and will now be one of the star campaigners for the party

Among them is Hemachandra Sagar, former BJP candidate and head of a huge group of education institutions, the Dayananda Sagar Group; and Prasanna Kumar, a former MLA of the Congress from the SC-reserved seat of Pulakeshinagar in Bengaluru.

hemachandra sagar
Former BJP candidate Hemachandra Sagar joined JDS

Kumar was denied a ticket, purely because the JDS MLA from the same area had joined the Congress last month and had been considered for his greater mass appeal.

The JDS, too, is short of candidates for important segments in Bengaluru city and with these candidates, the party said it is now hopeful of winning at least 12 to 15 Assembly seats in Bengaluru city (of the 28 Assembly segments that are there).

There are some candidates -- like Beluru Gopalakrishna -- who are so sure of their popularity that they plan to contest as Independents after being denied tickets from their party.

If they win, being an independent can pay rich dividends in a hung Assembly, as was seen in 2008 when the BJP was six short of the halfway mark in the Assembly -- and six independents, who supported the party, all became ministers!

Filing of nominations began April 17, but there were hardly any candidates filing their papers on day 1 as Tuesday is not being considered too auspicious by many.

The last day to file nominations is another Tuesday – April 24 – and if there are defections that happen till then of course, these candidates would have to file their papers on that day, regardless of how auspicious it is!
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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