Karnataka: JD(S) to announce LS candidates after core committee meeting; HD Kumaraswamy likely to contest from Mandya

The JD(S) is likely to hold a core committee meeting at Kumaraswamy's residence in Bengaluru on 25 March to finalise its candidates.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Mar 24, 2024 | 8:36 PMUpdatedMar 24, 2024 | 8:36 PM

HD Kumaraswamy JD(S)

As its state president HD Kumaraswamy reached back Bengaluru on Sunday, 24 March, following heart surgery, the JD(S) in Karnataka is all set to release on 26 March the list of its candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the state

The former chief minister had undergone heart surgery at a private hospital in Chennai last week. After nearly a week at the hospital, he was discharged on Saturday and returned to the state capital on Sunday morning.

The JD(S) is likely to hold a core committee meeting at Kumaraswamy’s residence in Bengaluru on Monday to finalise its candidates. The regional party is contesting the election in alliance with the BJP in Karnataka.

Though the BJP has not made any official announcement on seat-sharing in the state, both parties have publicly admitted that the JD(S) will contest in Mandya, Hassan and Kolar constituencies. The BJP will be contesting 25 seats out of the 28 seats in the state.

The saffron party has declared nominees for 20 seats and is expected to announce the names for the remaining five seats in a day or two, claimed sources in the BJP.

The polling for Lok Sabha elections will be held in Karnataka in two phases — on 26 April and 7 May.

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Kumaraswamy to contest from Mandya?

It is learnt that Kumaraswamy — despite his health issues —  will be contesting from the Mandya constituency following the directives of the BJP high command.

The party is also said to have finalised the names for the other two seats, likely to be announced on Tuesday.

Kumaraswamy is all set to enter national politics after a long gap of eleven years. He was elected to Lok Sabha from the Bangalore Rural constituency in 2009.

On condition of anonymity, a JD(S) MLA told South First: “Kumaraswamy will contest from the Mandya parliamentary seat. It is also the opinion of all the MLAs and party workers. The official announcement is likely to be made on Tuesday.”

“The party workers from Ramanagara are also demanding not to give up his Assembly seat and field his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Mandya Assembly constituency. But the party high command has different plans to set the future of Nikhil as a state leader.”

“Even the BJP high command has played a vital role in finalising Kumaraswamy as a nominee for the Mandya seat. Incumbent MP Prajwal Revanna will contest from Hassan and M Mallesh Babu, who contested unsuccessfully from the Bangarapet Assembly seat in 2023 will fight from Kolar,” the JD(S) lawmaker said.

Meanwhile, sources claimed that the regional party is planning to entrust Nikhil Kumaraswamy — son of Kumaraswamy and the chief of the party’s youth wing — with the responsibility of strengthening the party cadre.

The move is seen as an attempt to develop him as a state leader to replace his father in the state Assembly, claimed sources in the party.

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Kumaraswamy hints at his candidature

Addressing party workers in front of his residence on Sunday, Kumaraswamy hinted at the possibility of him contesting from the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency.

Thousands of party workers from Mandya turned up at Kumaraswamy’s residence, demanding that he contest from Mandya in the 26 April Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing the party workers, Kumaraswamy said: “People of Mandya have showered me with special love. I have gone under heart surgery thrice; the doctors have put a valve.”

“I was born in Hassan but Ramanagara and Mandya gave birth to me politically. I will not disappoint the people of Mandya. I will hold talks with the party workers of Channapatana,” the former chief minister said announcing his stand.

On condition of anonymity, a JD(S) leader told South First: “The party has already finalised the candidates for all three seats. The state president is most likely to chair the state core committee meeting on Monday, where the candidates will be finalised, especially for the Mandya seat.”

“The former chief minister would announce the candidates after the meeting or the list will be released on Tuesday. If Kumaraswamy wins (the Lok Sabha election), then the party is likely to field Nikhil (Kumaraswamy) from Channapatana in the ensuing Assembly by-polls. The final call will be taken by the party leadership,” added the leader.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)