BJP may settle for 4 seats in Karnataka biennial polls, to give South Teachers’ seat to partner JDS

JDS has already announced BL Bhoje Gowda as its candidate from the South West teachers’ seat.
BJP is likely to give one more seat to the JDS in the biennial polls and settle for four seats.
BJP is likely to give one more seat to the JDS in the biennial polls and settle for four seats.Representative image

BENGALURU: BJP, which had declared its candidates for five of the six Legislative Council seats (three each of graduates’ and teachers’) leaving one for its alliance partner JDS, is now likely to give one more seat to the regional party in the biennial polls and settle for four seats. The biennial Council polls are on June 3.

JDS patriarch HD Deve Gowda and party state president HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday met to discuss the South Teachers’ seat and decided not to leave it for BJP, sources said. “It is our seat which we held previously and the BJP leadership, including former chief minister BS Yediyurappa, is convinced that it should come to us,” a JD(S) source said.

But some BJP leaders are not happy. Party spokesperson MG Mahesh told The New Indian Express that the party has already declared a candidate, EC Ningaraj Gowda, for the seat and the decision has been taken by the high command. There cannot be any change, he added.

Ningaraj Gowda said, “It has been decided by the parliamentary board. I will file the nomination papers on May 15. I have no idea of the party leaving the seat to JDS.”

But another source said the BJP leadership will give the seat to JDS. If that happens, the regional party will contest from South teachers’ and South-West teachers’ constituencies that it held previously. This could also help prolong the JDS-BJP alliance amid the raging controversy over the alleged sex tapes of Hassan JDS-BJP Lok Sabha candidate Prajwal Revanna.

JDS has already announced BL Bhoje Gowda as its candidate for the South West teachers’ seat. It may field former MLC KT Srikante Gowda or businessman Vivekananda from the South Teachers’ constituency.

BJP has announced Amarnath Patil from North East Graduates’ seat, Dr Dhanajaya Sirji from South West Graduates’, A Deve Gowda from Bengaluru Graduates’ and YA Narayanaswamy from South East Teachers’ and they will take on Congress candidates in direct fights.

Ningaraj Gowda is a former Mysuru University syndicate member. In fact, former MLC Marithibbe Gowda had won the seat from JDS last time, but he recently joined Congress and is contesting as the Congress candidate.

Winning the two seats that it held in the past will come as a big relief for JDS, whose base is getting eroded by national parties in the Old Mysuru region, touted as the Vokkaliga bastion. The electorate for the South Teachers’ constituency is teachers from Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Hassan districts. That is the reason the regional party is not willing to leave it for BJP, party sources said.

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