The BJP Tuesday announced its candidates for the by-election to the Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) assembly constituencies. Former MLA Munirathna will contest from RR Nagar in Bengaluru while Dr Rajesh Gowda, a radiologist, will stand from Sira in Tumakuru district.
Both Assembly segments will go for bypolls on November 3. The last date to submit nominations is October 16.
The bypoll in Sira was necessitated following the death of JD(S) legislator B Sathyanarayana in August this year, while the RR Nagar seat fell vacant after the disqualification of the-then Congress MLA N Munirathna under the anti-defection law last year.
Munirathna, who is also a film producer, won the RR Nagar seat twice in 2013 and 2018 from Congress. In the 2018 elections, Munirathna polled 1.08 lakh votes, followed by around 82,000 by BJP’s Muniraju Gowda and over 60,000 by JD(S) candidate GH Ramachandra.
The BJP had promised Munirathna candidature from the seat for his role in staying away from the Assembly with 16 other former Congress-JD(S) MLAs, leading to the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka.
On October 3, Dr Gowda, son of former Congress MP CP Mudalagiriyappa, joined the BJP. CP Mudalagiriyappa represented the Chitradurga Lok Sabha constituency, under which the Sira assembly segment is located. Mudalagiriyappa served as a three-time MP and one-time MLA from the Congress.
Congress has fielded former minister TB Jayachandra from Sira and late IAS officer D K Ravi’s wife H Kusuma from RR Nagar. JD(S) has announced the wife of late MLA Sathyanarayana Ammajamma as party’s candidate in Sira. The regional party is yet to announce a candidate for RR Nagar.
Kusuma holds an MS degree in information technology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and is currently an assistant professor of computer science engineering at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering in Bengaluru.
Kusuma’s father Hanumantharayappa unsuccessfully contested the 2008 election to Rajarajeshwari Nagar on a JD(S) ticket. Hanumantharayappa was earlier with the Congress before joining JD(S). Kusuma joined Congress on October 4.
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