Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly constituency, which is going to the polls next month, has thrown up a peculiar problem for the Janata Dal (Secular) in terms of candidates ever since it was carved out.
For, candidates fielded by the party since the first election in the constituency in 2008 have been “outsiders” who have deserted the party soon after electoral losses, and in one instance a party man who simply went “missing” before the polls.
In 2008, Hanumantharayappa (whose daughter H. Kusuma is the Congress nominee now in R.R. Nagar), was the JD(S) candidate after he was denied ticket by the Congress. A known supporter of the current KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, he went back to the Congress after the electoral loss.
In 2013, Thimmananjaiah, the party councillor, was given ticket, and according to former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, he was “not seen by party workers four days before the elections”. In 2018, it was Ramachandra, a local BJP leader, who contested on the JD(S) symbol, only to later go back to the saffron party.
“Mr. Hanumantharayappa was never really our party leader. After the elections, he came and informed me of his inclination to go back to the Congress. In 2013, though we asked Mr. Thaimmananjaiah, whose brother-in-law Andanappa was our party candidate in Dasarahalli, to desist from contesting, he was adamant. I was told he was not seen by party workers four days before the polls,” he said. He added that Mr. Ramachandra came to the JD(S) because the BJP had denied him ticket.
“Hence, we are looking for leaders from our party who can contest in R.R. Nagar and not those who will go away before or after the polls,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said. “Despite the problem with candidates, the party secured nearly 40,000 votes in 2008, only to increase it to 52,000 votes in 2013 and about 60,000 in 2018. Why should we not contest?”
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