Confusion continued in the Janata Dal (Secular) camp even on the last day of filing nominations, as it replaced its nominees in Hirekerur and Chickballapur in the eleventh hour. The party also announced candidates for Athani and Kagwad Assembly constituencies only on Monday.
Sources in the party said former legislator K.P. Bache Gowda, who was named the party’s candidate to face BJP’s K. Sudhakar who is seeking re-election from Chickballapur, was replaced by Radhakrishna. The decision was made late on Sunday night. Mr. Radhakrishna is related to Ramanagaram legislator Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
Springing another surprise, the party replaced Ujneppa Jayyappa Kodihalli, who was set to fight on JD(S) ticket from Hirekerur against BJP’s B.C. Patil. His place was taken by a Lingayat seer. Interestingly, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s son B.Y. Vijayendra had met the seer on Monday to convince him to withdraw from the contest, but did not succeed.
In Mahalakshmi Layout too, where the JD(S) won last time before disqualified legislator K. Gopalaiah resigned, it had decided on BEML Kathraj, but eventually gave ticket to Girish K. Nashi. He will face Mr. Gopalaiah, who is now with the BJP.
Though the party had initially announced the list of 10 candidates on Thursday, candidates for four constituencies had been kept on hold. Late on Sunday night, it also announced Ashok Poojary as its candidate from Gokak. Mr. Poojary had contested unsuccessfully in Gokak on BJP ticket last time against Ramesh Jarkhiholi.
On Monday, Guru Dashal and Shreeshail Toogushetty filed nominations as JD(S) candidates in Athani and Kagwad respectively.
Family of star campaigners
The list of 40 “star campaigners” submitted by Janata Dal (Secular) to the Election Commission has every member of former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and former Minister H.D. Revanna’s family. Besides party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, the list includes Mr. Revanna, Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, Hassan ZP member Bhavani Revanna, Suraj Revanna, Mr. Kumaraswamy, Ramanagaram legislator Anitha Kumaraswamy and their son Nikhil K. Another former Minister D.C. Thammanna, who is related by marriage, is also a star campaigner.