Ballari: It's no secret that disqualified Congress legislator, B.S. Anand Singh, who has won from Vijayangar (Hospete) thrice in a row since 2008, is hoping to try his luck again from the constituency in the December bypoll.
But it all depends on the Supreme Court's verdict on the pleas of the 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs against their disqualification by the former Speaker for resigning from the Karnataka Assembly, a move that led to the fall of the coalition government in the state in July.
Should the Supreme Court verdict, expected on Wednesday, go against him, he is open to fielding his wife, Lakshmi instead from the constituency, according to sources close to the former MLA.
Although Mr Singh had at first considered fielding his 24- year- old son, Sidharth Singh in his place, his age doesn't qualify him to contest the bypoll, they explain.
The BJP has reportedly assured the disqualified MLAs that should the Supreme Court rule against them, it is open to fielding their relatives in the bypolls that have become necessary following their resignations from the state assembly, as a payback for helping it form the government in the state.
But local Sangh Parivar leaders and BJP workers have openly opposed his candidature, and are demanding that the party field Mr H R Gaviyappa ,who was defeated by Mr Singh in the last assembly poll.
Undeterred, the disqualified is going all out to retain Hosapete by demanding the creation of a new Vijayanagar district out of Ballari despite stiff opposition from health minister, B Sriramulu and other BJP legislators of the district. His demand is seen as a tactic to win over voters and regain his dwindling political clout in the constituency.
To his advantage, he has help from Chief Minister, B S Yediyurappa, who fully backs his candidature and announced a huge grant of Rs 284 crore for a lift irrigation and other public work projects in the constituency a day before the election code of conduct kicked in on Monday. The Congress, meanwhile, is in a fix as former MLAs, Santosh Lad and Surya Narayana Reddy, have reportedly refused to contest the by-poll. Local Congress leaders are now suggesting the party field Mr Gaviyappa should he return to it.
Other party leaders are keen on fielding former Ballari MP, V.S. Ugrappa from the constituency and he could emerge as the Congress candidate, say sources. Although the JD(S) has no strong base in the constituency, it has fielded former Kudligi legislator, N M Nabi, who filed his nomination for the bypoll on Monday....