The Janata Dal (Secular) suffered a setback during the last day for withdrawal of nominations ahead of the Lok Sabha elections here on Saturday with its candidate for Uttara Kannada constituency, Shivanagouda Nayak, pulling back from the fray “unilaterally”.
Nayak, who was up against the Congress’s Prashant Deshpande, son of state minister R V Deshpande, and a local BJP strongman, withdrew his nomination claiming lack of funds to contest the polls. JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy appeared indignant over the withdrawal.
Kumaraswamy claimed Nayak had withdrawn his candidature without consulting the party leadership. He said the party had assured Nayak of its support in the elections. He said Nayak himself had approached the JD(S) for a ticket to contest the elections.
As many as 109 nominations were withdrawn from the 544 valid ones received by the election commission. Among the other significant withdrawals was that of right-wing Sri Rama Sena leader Pramod Muttalik from the Bangalore South constituency.
Muttalik, who had filed his nomination against BJP leaders H N Ananth Kumar in Bangalore South and state BJP president Prahlad Joshi in Hubli, withdrew his papers in Bangalore South, sources said.
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Muttalik had filed his nominations against senior BJP leaders after an attempt to be inducted into the party fizzled out last week on account of his association with a mob that attacked women at a pub in Mangalore in 2009.
As per data provided by the Chief Electoral Officer in Karnataka, the Bangalore Central constituency has the maximum number of Lok Sabha contestants with 27 while Gulbarga’s eight hopefuls are the minimum in a constituency.
There are now 435 candidates in fray for the Lok Sabha elections from the state out of which 412 are men and 23 women.
Karnataka has seen 628 violations of the model code of conduct with Belgaum topping with 124 cases, followed by Mysore at 119, Chikaballapur 109, Gulbarga 52, Ramanagar 52, Bagalkot 39 and Dharwad 29.