As time is running out for announcing candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) are still struggling to find a suitable common candidate.
Under the seat sharing formula, the Janata Dal(S) succeeded in clinching the constituency from the Congress. However, a major challenge the party is facing is in fielding a strong candidate to take on MP and Union Minister Ramesh Jigajinagi.
The Janata Dal(S) is reportedly trying to field the wife or the brother of Nagathan MLA Devanand Chavan who belongs to the Banjara community.
Party insiders, however, believe that as both these persons are not known to be strong political leaders, their selection would give a psychological advantage to the BJP.
“The BJP will clearly take advantage of this and would send a message to the people that the Janata Dal(S) has fielded a weak candidate against a stalwart like Mr. Jigajinagi. This psychological advantage could surely work in favour of the BJP,” they said.
The party, besides facing a challenge in selecting a formidable candidate to be pitted against the BJP, is now apparently facing the anger of the Dalit community which is seeking ticket for its leader as a coalition candidate. The reason for the anger of the Dalits is that in the last two Lok Sabha polls, the Congress offered ticket to Prakash Rathod of the Banjara community. Mr. Rathod lost twice to Mr. Jigajinagi.
The Dalits, mainly the Chalavadis, were hoping to secure ticket this time as Mr. Jigajinagi belongs to the Madiga sect. While the Congress has Raju Algur, a former MLA who belongs to the Chalavadi sect, the Janata Dal(S) has no strong leader to be projected as their candidate from this sect.
Having no choice, the party is again planning to give ticket to a canddiate from the Banjara community which could invite the anguish of the Chalavadis whose population is more than Banjaras in the district.
To prevent the BJP from having a possible easy victory if the Janata Dal(S) fields a weak candidate, the Congress wants the seat to be retained within its fold as the party believes that it has the candidate who is capable enough to take on Mr. Jigajinagi.
The Congress is reportedly making last-ditch efforts to convince the Janata Dal(S) of the need to leave the seat to it for giving a tough fight to the BJP. While Congress leaders of the district wanted to meet Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to speak to him on this issue, the latter is reportedly busy in Mandya with a view to ensuring the victory of his son Nikhil there. Then, as a last resort, the party leaders have decided to meet party national president H.D. Deve Gowda.
Meanwhile, the delay is only creating an advantage for the BJP, while resulting in anxiety among the aspirants, mainly from the Congress.