BANGALORE, August 2: The earlier plan by the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party of fielding “mutually agreeable” candidates in the bypolls for Bangalore Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies, scheduled to be held on August 21, appears to be on uncertain ground with the JD(S) supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda putting his foot down on the proposal.
Setting his eye on the coming general elections to Lok Sabha, where he hopes to forge a united front of non-Congress and non-BJP parties with JD(S) playing an important role, Mr. Gowda said a firm “no” to the proposal, according to sources.
Confirming this stand, JD(S) leader and MLC Basavaraj Horatti told The Hindu that there was no question of the party going with the BJP and Mr. Gowda was not in favour of having a tie-up with BJP “under any circumstances.”
In the meeting held on Thursday, it was decided that the party would field its own candidates in both the Lok Sabha constituencies. August 3 is the last date for filing of nominations.
Though there was a suggestion against fielding candidates in view of the short tenure of the post, Mr. Gowda said that candidates would be fielded as it was the question of a party’s survival, Mr. Horatti added. “We will not leave any stone unturned to retain our hold on the two prestigious constituencies,” he said.
Mr. Horatti, however, refused to divulge names of candidates to be fielded and said that it would be finalised by Friday.
However, sources said that, Mr. Gowda was not in favour of fielding Anita Kumaraswamy wife of Mr. Kumaraswamy, as Mr. Gowda was “fed up” with allegation of dynastic politics. Earlier, the BJP and JD (S) had held discussions during the Assembly session on fielding unified candidates in both the constituencies, which are traditional bastions of JD (S), to humble the ruling Congress. In return, BJP had apparently been trying to strike a deal with JD(S) in the Council bypolls to be held for Dharwad, Chitradurga and Mysore Local Authorities constituencies on August 22. BJP leaders Jagadish Shettar, R. Ashok, Basavaraj Bommai, Ramachandra Gowda had met state JD (S) president H.D. Kumaraswamy on this issue. BJP State president Prahlad Joshi on Tuesday even agreed for a pre-poll alliance if the proposal came from JD (S).