Bengaluru: With the date for filing nominations for the 15 assembly bypolls fast approaching, the Karnataka Congress unit is likely to choose leaders belonging to the same caste as the MLAs who had fought and won the polls in these constituencies last time in May, 2018. The party is also likely to consider if the candidate chosen for each constituency is able to match the BJP's resources in the elections.
Dynasty politics may also come into play with the party likely to field family members of local leaders in the constituencies represented by the rebel MLAs. "For instance, in Hosakote, the party is likely to field Padmavati, wife of Hebbal legislator Byrathi Suresh while in Gokak, the mantle may fall on Lakhan Jarkiholi, brother of former minister, Satish Jarkiholi. In Yellapur, it could be Prashant Deshpande, son of former KPCC president and former minister, R.V. Deshpande while in Chikkaballapura Dr M.C. Sudhakar, a close relative of former minister, Krishna Byregowda may be given the chance to contest," said sources.
In Shivajinagar earlier represented by former minister Roshan Baig, the ticket may be given to Mansoor Khan, son of former Rajya Sabha member, K. Rehman Khan. In Hirekerur the party is trying to poach BJP leader, U.B. Banakar's son while in Ranebennur, it could be Prakash Koliwad, son of former Speaker K.B. Koliwad, said a senior leader while speaking to this newspaper.
Another senior leader added that after the collapse of the coalition government, it is a foregone conclusion that the party will not have any truck with the JD(S). "Former chief ministers, H. D. Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah have already made their views very clear on this front. This will also enable the Congress field 15 new faces in the 15 seats," the source explained.
According to the source, the party is also looking at fielding candidates with deep pockets. "In Hosakote, which was represented by Kuruba leader and disqualified MLA, M.T. B. Nagaraj, the party is keen on fielding Hebbal legislator Byrathi Suresh's wife Padmavati. Mr Nagaraj had launched an attack on Mr Suresh which goes to prove that he must have got whiff of this," the source explained.
The source said that efforts are on to convince former minister K. J. George to field his son Rana George from KR Puram constituency to take on disqualified MLA Byrathi Basavaraj if he contests.