Karwar: The Congress , which is smarting from the desertion of its former MLA, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, who resigned from Yellapur in July to help bring down the Kumaraswamy government, is going all out to find a candidate to defeat him in the coming bypoll should he be fielded from the constituency by the BJP.
Winning from Yellapur has become a matter of prestige for the party, which is reportedly considering fielding either DCC president, Bhimanna Naik or senior leader, R V Deshpande's son, Prashant Deshpande.
Yellapur constituency was created following the delimitation exercise and had its first election in 2008. Although Mr V S Patil of the BJP defeated Mr Shivaram Hebbar in that election, he went on to win the following two elections in 2013 and 2018 for the Congress.
Now the old calculations have changed as this will be the Congress party's first election from Yellapur without Mr Hebbar as candidate and should the disqualified MLA be able to contest depending on the Supreme Court's verdict, it will be his first election too in the constituency without the Congress' backing.
Mr Bhimanna Naik, who is in the running for a Congress ticket, had contested the 2018 election from Sirsi as its candidate against Mr Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, but was defeated by 17,461 votes. Mr Prashant Deshpande, who is also being considered by the party, had contested the 2014 parliament election as a Congress candidate but was defeated by Mr Anant Kumar Hegde of the BJP.
His advantage is that his father represented Haliyal, which in the past covered a large portion of Yellapur constituency, for almost three- and- a-half decades and continues to enjoy good support in the region. But the party is not in a hurry to decide on its candidate as the bypolls have only been announced....