Bommai Faces Crucial Test, JD(S), Congress Fight for Prestige in Karnataka Bypolls in 2 Seats

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As bypolls to the two assembly constituencies in Karnataka on October 30 were announced, the ruling BJP and Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) have begun brainstorming on candidates’ selection and electoral strategy to set the base for the 2023 assembly elections.

The by-elections in Hanagal and Sindagi were necessitated after the death of sitting MLAs CM Udasi of JD(S) and MC Managooli of BJP.

The election is crucial for chief minister Basavaraj Bommai as its his first assembly election since he took the charge in July, and the Hanagal constituency is located in his home turf in Haveri district. Sindagi, however, falls under minister Anand Singh’s Vijayanagar district, which was recently formed during Yediyurappa’s tenure, and was earlier part of Ballari district.

While the BJP is trying to win back Hanagal, JD(S) wants to keep Sindagi. The Congress, however, is well-planned this time and is likely to announce MC Managooli’s son Ashok as the candidate. Although Managooli was JD(S)’s strongman but the party failed to rope in his son on time for the upcoming bypoll.

Former chief minister and JD(S) state chief HD Kumaraswamy recently announced that the party will be giving the ticket to Niyaz Sheikh for Hanagal seat but didn’t mention a word on Sindagi candidate.

The Congress, which is making all efforts to take away Hanagal from the BJP, is likely to name Srinivas Mane as its candidate. The BJP, however, may give the Hanagal ticket to late CM Udasi’s wife. Udasi had contested from the constituency nine times and won six times.

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