The confusion is over in Janata Dal (Secular). Party leaders finally decided against fielding candidates in the bypolls to Shikaripur, Chikkodi-Sadalga and Bellary Rural Assembly segments for which elections are scheduled on August 21. “For the first time, the party has decided to stay away from bypolls owing to a funds crunch and the present political situation,” said JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy
There was dilemma in the party till Thursday night, with Mr. Gowda opposing fielding of candidates, while other leaders, especially Mr. Kumaraswamy favoured it “to boost morality of the cadre”.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that after discussions with H.T. Baligar, who has contested in Shikaripur earlier, the leaders were convinced that JD(S) cannot match the “money power” of both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Mr. Baligar needs at least Rs. 5 crore to fight the two national parties. Besides, there is no guarantee of a win. The situation is the same in the other two constituencies, he added.
The JD(S) move is expected to help the Congress candidate in Shikaripur to a certain extent, according to a senior party leader. In this scenario, the JD(S) aims to garner support of the Other Backward Classes (OBC), who have a say in the constituency.
It is also believed that attempts of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to woo OBCs may tilt the balance in favour of the Congress. However, the party’s move of not fielding a candidate may help the BJP in Bellary.