Throwing a surprise, the Congress on Monday picked M. Nagaraju Yadav, KPCC spokesperson, and K. Abdul Jabbar, former MLC, as its candidates for the biennial elections to the Legislative Council from the Legislative Assembly constituency in the State, ignoring claims of many seniors in the party.
Mr. Nagaraju, a former chairman of BMTC during the Congress tenure, is said to be a KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar’s loyalist. Mr. Jabbar, currently chairman of KPCC Minority Cell, served as the MLC earlier, and is close to both Mr. Shivakumar and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Siddaramaiah. Incidentally, Muslim leaders, including legislators, had petitioned the Congress, seeking Mr. Jabbar’s candidature in the Council election.
The move is seen as an attempt to woo the dominant OBCs and Muslim community ahead of BBMP and next year’s Assembly elections. as Mr. Nagaraju belongs to the Golla community.
Mr. Siddaramaiah had favoured former MLC Ivan D’Souza and former Minister M.R. Seetharam, sources in the party said, adding that several leaders such as former Minister S.R. Patil, former MP V.S. Ugrappa, farmers’ leader Sachin Miga, former KPCC president Allum Veerabhadrappa, and KPCC women’s wing president Pushpa Amarnath were among the others who had been seeking ticket.
Seven members are to be elected from the Assembly in the elections to be held on June 3. Tuesday is the last day for filing nomination papers. The BJP, Congress, and the JD (S) are guaranteed four, two, and one seat respectively. The election is necessitated as the term of the seven MLCs is set to end on June 14.
Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (Secular) and BJP were yet to announce the names till the time of going to the press.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that the JD(S) would announce names in the presence of party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda.
The party on Monday also announced its candidates in two teachers’ constituencies in the Legislative Council that are going to the polls along with two graduates’ constituencies on June 13. Srishaila Ningappa Gidadanni will take on Basavaraj Horatti, who left JD (S) to join BJP recently, in the Karnataka West Teachers’ constituency. In the North–West constituency, the party has fielded Chandrashekar E. Loni as its candidate to take on Arun Shahpur of BJP. Mr. Kumaraswamy said that he would personally go for campaigning in the West Teachers’ constituency