Karnataka by-elections: Candidates put their best foot forward

While many see bypolls as semi-final before 2023 face-off, a lot is at stake for contestants of the big 3 parties as the winner could become their respective party's lucky mascot in coming elections.
Representational Image (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)
Representational Image (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

BENGALURU: There is much at stake for the three political parties in the October 30 bypolls to Hanagal and Sindagi.  Besides the image of the parties and big leaders, it will also have a bearing on the choice of candidates in Hanagal and Sindagi Assembly constituencies. For the candidates too, much is at stake. They could become their parties’ lucky mascots in the run up to the 2023 assembly polls in Karnataka, and carve a career for themselves.

In Hanagal, BJP’s Shivaraj Sajjanar is a veteran leader and was on good terms with both former minister late C M Udasi’s family and former chief minister  B S Yediyurappa. The party picking him to represent a constituency that falls in Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s home district Haveri, should come as a shot in the arm for him.

Sitting Congress MLC Srinivasa Mane was runner-up in the 2018 assembly polls, despite the fact that he is from the Maratha community. He has the strong backing of former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah. The JDS’ Niyaz Sheik, relatively a novice, was former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s choice. Interestingly, he is the first one to get the party’s ‘B’ form to contest the polls, and Kumaraswamy has been campaigning aggressively for him.


In Sindagi, the Congress party’s Ashok Managuli, by virtue of being the son of former JDS minister late M C Managuli, a Panchamasali Lingayat, seems to have emerged as a leader to look out for. Whether the sympathy factor works in his favour remains to be seen.

BJP’s Ramesh Bhusanuru, a Ganiga Lingayat leader, may also ride the sympathy wave as he came in second in the 2018 assembly polls. But with Bommai concentrating hard on Hanagal, Bhusanuru may not get as much importance.

Whether JDS candidate Naziya Shakeel Ahmed Angadi, an educated young woman, will have traction with the Muslim electorate, especially women,  will be tested in these polls. Moreover, with none other than former Prime Minster H D Deve Gowda committed to giving his best time to Sindagi, could give her a boost.

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