With all three major political parties in Karnataka — the BJP, Congress and JD (S) — announcing their candidates for the by-elections scheduled to be held on October 30 for two Assembly seats, the stage is set and is being regarded as a semi-final for the 2023 Assembly elections.
The by-elections to Hanagal and Sindhagi Assembly constituencies are crucial for Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to prove himself as the leader who can ensure victory for the party. On the other hand, state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar has taken it as a matter of prestige to prove his mettle against his party colleague and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah has already stirred the hornet’s nest by launching attacks through his bold statements on the RSS and the ruling BJP. He has caught the attention of the party high command, and met Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi to discuss strategies. He is all set for another New Delhi trip this month to meet Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. In the backdrop of these developments, Shivakumar wants to convey a message to the party leaders that he can win elections for them.
However, the JD (S) has dampened the spirits of the Congress by fielding Muslim candidates in both constituencies. It is said that it will divide the Muslim votes and ensure victory for the BJP.
Siddaramaiah has openly stated that JD (S) has fielded Muslim candidates to ensure victory for the BJP. Following this, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy attacked the RSS and tried to prove that JD (S) is not helping BJP.
Ruling BJP denied ticket to Revathi Udasi, daughter-in-law of former minister C.M. Udasi for the Hanagal constituency. The party has put up Shivaraj Sajjanar as a candidate here. In Sindhagi, the party has fielded Ramesh Bhoosanur as its candidate.
The Congress has issued tickets to Ashok Managuli (Sindhagi) and Srinivas Mane (Hanagal). And the JD (S) has fielded Niyaz Sheik from Hanagal and Naziya Shakeel Angadi from the Sindhagi constituency
The elections are being held after the two Assembly seats were vacant following the death of BJP MLA C.M. Udasi and JD (S) MLA M.C. Managuli.