Will BJP pull out candidate from South Teachers’ seat?

On Saturday, the BJP parliamentary board announced candidates for five Council seats out of six going to the polls.
BJP flag used for representational purposes.
BJP flag used for representational purposes.Photo| PTI

BENGALURU: The uncertainty over the BJP-JDS alliance in the South Teachers’ Council seat continued with JDS declaring realtor Vivekananda as its candidate on Wednesday, coinciding with the BJP’s Dr EC Ningaraj Gowda filing his nomination papers for the June 3 biennial polls.

The lack of consensus between the alliance partners is likely to mar the prospects of their candidate as Congress has fielded a veteran and former MLC Marithibbe Gowda. But Vivekananda is likely to give a stiff fight, sources said. “He was the backbone of former MLA SaRa Mahesh and former minister GT Devegowda and helped them in the previous Assembly polls,” they added.

Mahesh and Devegowda were said to have convinced Kumaraswamy to give the ticket to Vivekananda, though former MLC KT Srinkante Gowda was also in the race. Interestingly, it was Srinkante Gowda who introduced Vivekananda into politics, remarked a leader close to him. The South Teachers’ constituency has an electorate of 18,000 teachers from Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajanagar districts.

On Saturday, the BJP parliamentary board announced candidates for five Council seats out of six going to the polls. Ningaraj Gowda’s name too was in the list. The next day, the JDS leadership held a crucial meeting and resolved not to leave the South Teachers’ seat to BJP as JDS had won it previously with Marithibbe Gowda.

The BJP leadership, including former CM BS Yediyurappa, also favoured leaving it to JDS. But the hiccup is that Ningaraj Gowda is a candidate suggested by BJP national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh, the sources said.

After filing his nomination papers in Mysuru on Wednesday, Ningaraj Gowda met several RSS functionaries and BJP leaders to seek their advice as to whether to continue in the fray or to withdraw. BJP has not issued the B form to him to declare him as the party’s official candidate. But he claimed that he will file the papers again on Thursday, the last date to do so, along with the B form. The deadline to withdraw the nomination papers is May 20 and will Ningaraj Gowda withdraw is the big question.

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