Former Congress MP’s son joins BJP ahead of Sira bypoll

Likely to be party’s Sira candidate; his Kunchatiga Vokkaliga community, may work in his favour

Published: 04th October 2020 04:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th October 2020 04:24 AM   |  A+A-

BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel (left) hands over a BJP flag to Dr Rajesh Gowda, who joined the party on Saturday in Bengaluru | SHRIRAM BN

Express News Service

BENGALURU/SIRA: Dr CM Rajesh Gowda, a radiologist and son of former Congress MP CP Mudalagiriyappa, joined the BJP on Saturday. The 44-year-old is is likely to be the party’s candidate for Sira Assembly by-poll, scheduled for November 3. Explaining his likely candidature, a BJP leader said that Gowda is a known face in Sira, has a strong political background, enjoys a good rapport with the voters and has done a lot of work in during the lockdown.

His father served as a three-time MP and one-time MLA from the Congress. “He is from Kunchatiga Vokkaliga community, which has 58,000 of the total 2.1 lakh voters in Sira. We expect it to work in our favour,’’ he said. In 2018, B Sathyanarayana from the JDS won by garnering 41 per cent of total votes, followed by T B Jayachandra from Congress with 35 per cent votes. BJP candidare S R Gowda was in the third place with just 9 per cent. “With the Congress almost finalising Jayachandra’s name for the bypoll, it is not easy for the BJP to open its account here.

That’s why we wanted a fresh but popular face,’’ they said. In 2016, when Gowda, along with his business partner and then Congress CM Siddaramaiah’s son Dr Yathindra bagged a contract from the government to set up a diagnostics lab at Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru, the BJP and other opposition parties had slammed Sidaramaiah for favouring his son’s business. After that, Dr Yathindra, who is now the Congress MLA from Varuna, had walked out of the company.

Gowda may not be acceptable to BJP workers on the ground, but senior party leaders are confident of convincing them, the sources said. “We have given enough chances to local BJP workers. B K Manjunath, who was given the ticket twice, got only 18,000 and 24,000 votes. S R Gowda got just 14,000 votes’’ the sources said. This time, the BJP has hit the ground running, and has adopted the concept of Page Pramukh. According to this, a leader will be given the responsibility of a page from the voters’ list from booths.

The Page Pramukh has to ensure that 10-12 families in each page vote for the BJP. BJP state General Secretary N Ravikumar, who is camping in Sira, said they have constituted a committee for each booth. “We have also created WhatsApp groups to ensure that every voter is reached. I have visited 210 booths, and they are in our favour,” he added.

RR Nagar: DK Ravi’s wife may contest from Cong
Bengaluru: Congress is expected to announce its candidate for RR Nagar bypoll on Sunday. Late IAS officer D K Ravi’s wife Kusuma will be joining Congress on Sunday and rumours suggest she might be given the ticket. Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh and KPCC president D K Shivakumar visited Kusuma’s father, Hanumantharappa’s house in Malathahalli on Saturday, who was a JDS member. Shivakumar said a
surprise candidate’s name will be announced. “There is a demand to get Kusuma enrolled in Congress and we have asked her to apply for primary membership on Sunday. The select committee, headed by senior leader Ramalinga Reddy, will announce the candidate,” he added. 


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