The JD(S) is actively considering fielding former MLA Anitha Kumaraswamy against Union Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily in Chikkaballapur in the Lok Sabha elections.
Anitha, wife of former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, is a native of Chintamani and belongs to the Marasu Vokkaliga community, which has a large presence in Chikkaballapur.
“Her name was considered even during the previous Lok Sabha polls. Later, the party decided against fielding her as she was a sitting MLA,” said a senior party functionary.
Anitha is the best bet to wrest the constituency, which is a Congress stronghold, the functionary said.
In the last 10 Lok Sabha polls, a non-Congress candidate has won the seat only once (RL Jalappa of Janata Dal in 1996).
In the last Parliamentary elections, the JD(S) was pushed to third place, way behind the Congress and the BJP. Moily won with a margin of over 51,000 votes against BJP’s C Ashwathnarayana.
Considering that there is no strong local leader in the JD(S) in Chikballapur, the party was talking to former minister B N Bacheche Gowda who is now in the BJP. Hoskote, where Gowda lost Assembly polls comes under Chikballapur LS constituency.
Gowda, though was keen to join the JD(S) after talks with former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, is said to have backed out and is considering to contest the polls on a BJP ticket. Gowda belongs to Hosa-Devarau Vokkalu, another sub-sect in Vokkaliga community.
The JD(S) is worried that in case Gowda decides to contest, it could topple their apple cart by dividing over 3 lakh Vokkaliga votes in the constituency.
‘’In such a scenario, the Congress is likely gain,’’ a senior leader said.
Anitha, a reluctant politician was pushed into the electoral politics in 2008 from Madhugiri in the keenly contested by-election, which she won.
She suffered a back to back losses in 2013 Assembly elections from Channapatna and the subsequent Lok Sabha bypoll from Bangalore Rural.
Anitha, however, is said to be not keen on contesting another polls after a back to back drubbings. But she might be asked to contest by former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda who is actively talking to various political leaders to float an alternate non-Congress and non-BJP political front.
Siddaiah from Kolar
Meanwhile, retired IAS officer and former BBMP commissioner Siddaiah is all set to make his entry into electoral politics through JD(S).
Sources in the party said that he is likely to contest the polls from Kolar (SC Reserved) against Union Minister K H Muniyappa.
The retired bureaucrat is already making efforts to get a foothold in the constituency by connecting with influential leaders in the Constituency besides his ‘friends’, from Kolar who are settled in Bangalore to make inroads ahead of the polls.
Like Chikballapur, Kolar too is also a Congress strong-hold.
JD(S), however, has done well in the Assembly polls and is way ahead of Congress in the total number of votes polled vis a vis Congress in all Assembly segments that come under Kolar LS constituency.