K'taka bypolls: BJP announces candidates, field Angadi's wife from Belgaum

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Bengaluru, Mar 25 (PTI) The ruling BJP on Thursday announced its candidates for the April 17 by-elections in Karnataka, fielding Mangala Suresh Angadi, wife of late Union Minister Suresh Angadi, from Belgaum Lok Sabha seat.

Pratapagouda Patil, who quit the Congress and joined the party would be its candidate in Maski assembly segment; while youth leader Sharanu Salagar has been fielded in Basavakalyan, a BJP press release said.

By-polls to Belgaum Lok Sabha and Basavakalyan Assembly seats are necessitated following the death of Suresh Angadi of the BJP and Congress MLA B Narayan Rao, respectively due to COVID-19 in September last year.

While, Maski assembly seat fell vacant following the disqualification of Pratapagouda Patil for his role along with others that led to the collapse of the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

The bypolls will be held on April 17 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Among other factors, Congress seems to be eyeing sympathy wave in favour of Mangala in Belgaum, where Congress and JD(S) are yet to finalise their candidates.

There have been talks from the beginning within the BJP circles to give ticket to Suresh Angadi's family member from Belgaum, and names of his daughter Shradha, along with Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, MLC Mahantesh Kavatagimath were doing rounds.

While, Congress has fielded Basanagouda Turvihal, who was the BJP's candidate in 2018 and had lost by a margin of just 213 votes against Prathapagouda Patil, then with the Congress, from Maski; Mallamma, the wife of late legislator B Narayan Rao, is its candidate in Basavakalyan.

JD(S) has named Syed Yasrab Ali Quadri, who was with the Congress earlier as its candidate from Basavakalyan, and is yet to announce a candidate for Maski seat.

The gazette notification for the bypolls was issued on March 23.

The last date for filing of nominations will be on March 30, and its scrutiny will take place on the very next day.

April 3 is the last date for withdrawal of candidatures.

While BJP, that has won most of the bypolls after coming to power in aiming to continue its winning streak.

Congress that has been targeting the ruling party for its alleged failures in providing good administration, corruption and impropriety following the sex scandal is hoping to make a mark by winning seats.

It at least aims to retain Basavakalyan and Maski, which it had won in the 2018 assembly elections.

JD(S)' Kumaraswamy is also hoping big, especially in Basavakalyan, which he has said is the party's 'strong hold'.