With the filing of nominations drawing to a close and all parties deciding on their candidates, especially the KJP, which fielded its candidate at the eleventh hour, a clear picture has now emerged on who will be taking on Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar in Hubli-Dharwad Central Assembly constituency.
Shettar can, in fact, heave a sigh of relief with no ‘strong’ opponent in sight.
In view of the soured relations between the BJP and Yeddyurappa, it was believed that the KJP will field a strong candidate against Shettar in the Assembly election, but even after a long wait, the KJP could only manage to put up a newbie.
The official KJP candidate for Hubli-Dharwad Central Assembly constituency now is S S Patil, the son of Adargunchi Shankargouda Patil, who had fought for the unification of the state. S S Patil is also a former member of the Dharwad Zilla Panchayat.
With Yeddyurappa’s followers Ashok Katwe and Jabbar Khan Honnalli deciding not to contest against Shettar and Yeddyurappa’s close confidant Mohan Limbikai contesting from Hubli-Dharwad West constituency, the name of former MP Manjunath Kunnur was doing the rounds till Patil was selected finally.
Patil’s candidature was made known only on Wednesday, the last day for filing nominations, who also maintained a low profile while filing his papers.
While the JD(S) has fielded minority leader Shams Tabrej Samsi against Shettar, the Congress has pinned its hopes on physician Dr Mahesh Nalwad, who has been with the Youth Congress.
Besides these, many independent candidates are also trying their luck in the constituency.
Meanwhile, the BJP leadership in Hubli has been successful in convincing two or more party aspirants who had plans to contest as rebels against party candidates in Hubli-Dharwad West and East Assembly constituencies to stand down. With no notable and strong candidates against him, Shettar, who won in the 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008 Assembly elections, is hoping to continue his winning spree for the fifth time now.