BENGALURU: Late IAS officer D K Ravi’s wife H Kusuma joined the Congress on Sunday, adding fuel to the speculation that she would be given the party ticket to contest from the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly by-election.
Signifying the importance of the occasion, KPCC president D K Shivakumar, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and former Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara attended the ceremony to welcome Kusuma into the party.
In fact, Kusuma is living the dream of her father Hanumantharayappa, who wanted to contest from the same constituency in the 2018 assembly elections after Ravi’s death, but was denied a ticket. Kusuma’s name has been doing the rounds as the frontrunner for the seat, which will go to the polls on November 3.
The Congress, which has announced T B Jayachandra as the candidate for the Sira by-election, is yet to reveal the name of the candidate for Rajarajeshwari Nagar. “The high command will decide on the final name. We will only shortlist the names of probable candidates and send them,” said Shivakumar, hinting that the party will pick a new face for RR Nagar.
The seat was previously held by Munirathna, who won from the Congress but later joined the BJP. He is likely to be the saffron party candidate from the constituency. Kusuma joining the party is of value to the Congress, which was criticised for its alleged mishandling of Ravi’s suicide in 2015 when Siddaramaiah was the chief minister.
As many as 15 leaders from other parties and social organisations in Sira too joined the Congress on Sunday. Among them was Ravikumar Kalkere, a former JDS leader who wanted to contest from Sira. A host of local leaders including the president of Kunchatiga Sangha joined the party.