Karnataka polls: SDPI withdraws candidates in all seats except three to stop BJP, Congress set to gain

SDPI will now field candidates only in Narasimharaja in Mysuru, Chickpet in Bengaluru and Kalaburagi North.

Published: 27th April 2018 04:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2018 03:04 PM   |  A+A-

SDPI workers (File | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: After announcing that it will field 25 candidates in the upcoming Karnataka elections, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has decided to pull back its candidates. Popular Front of India’s (PFI) political wing SDPI’s decision to withdraw nominations of its candidates in all seats except three is likely to favour Congress in crucial seats of Bantwal, Sarvagnanagar and Hebbal. SDPI will now field candidates only in Narasimharaja in Mysuru, Chickpet in Bengaluru and Kalaburagi North.

“We had decided to contest for 25 seats initially but our ideological rival BJP has to be stopped from coming to power. Our stand is to ensure communal parties are kept at bay and one of our candidates gets elected to Vidhana Soudha,” said Abdul Lateef, state general secretary, SDPI. The party had announced a list of candidates for Bantwal, Sarvagnanagar, Hebbal and Mangaluru North, all of which will be withdrawn. The move will transfer all SDPI votes to Congress.

“We have not decided on whether we will campaign for any other party,” Lateef added. Consolidation of Muslim votes in favour of the Congress will benefit sitting MLA Ramanath Rai who is facing the Hindutva heat with BJP fuelling voters’ anger.

Bantwal has been witnessing heavy anti-incumbency against Rai with voters putting up “Congress not allowed” posters outside their houses in Vittala. “We will contest from seats that we are sure of winning such as Narasimharaja. The agenda is to ensure BJP does not win,” said Abdul Jaleel K, working committee member, Dakshina Kannada, who was to contest from Mangaluru North against sitting Congress MLA Mohiuddin Bava.

In 2013, SDPI had contested 23 seats but forfeited deposit in 22. It had a cumulative vote share of 3.27 per cent. In Narasimharaja, SDPI’s Abdul Majid had ended at second position with 29,667 votes where Congress’ Tanveer Sait won by a margin of 8,370 votes. With SDPI withdrawing candidates, its vote share is likely to go to Congress.

Congress, however, does not believe that SDPI’s move will make a difference to its vote. “Whether SDPI or AIMIM contests or not is not our concern. SDPI has contested in some constituencies but we have won there,” Dinesh Gundu Rao, KPCC working president, said. He added that his party is not dependent on the votes of one community.

AIMIM has refused to field candidates and pledged support to JD(S) while SDPI has limited its contest to three seats essentially avoiding split of minority votes. The natural gainer in the process is Congress that is looking forward to consolidate minority votes in its favour.

Rahul is a mad fellow, says BSY

Shivamogga: BJP state president and CM candidate B S Yeddyurappa reacted sharply against AICC president Rahul Gandhi terming him as a ‘mad fellow’. Talking to the media persons at the helipad on Thursday, Yeddyurappa reacting to the tweet made by Rahul Gandhi saying ‘Modi sending all tainted leaders to assembly’, said there is no need to give importance to the statement made by Rahul Gandhi.

The tweet by Rahul was directed against BJP leaders who are contesting for the assembly elections. The tweet targets all those leaders who are facing charges under different issues including Yeddyurappa.

Yeddyurappa went on to add that Rahul lacks minimum knowledge of how to speak. Rahul’s tweet came after PM Modi for levelling corruption charges against the Siddaramaiah government.

On Thursday, Rahul said the BJP had given tickets to eight tainted candidates for the upcoming elections. Rahul who is on visit to the state questioned the Prime Minister’s authority to speak on corruption while he was surrounded by BJP leaders involved in corruption. On April 2, Rahul tweeted that ‘Oppression of Dalits is in the DNA of BJP and RSS’ which evoked strong remarks.


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