The Congress on Wednesday named former Minister T B Jayachandra, and Kusuma H – the wife of late IAS officer DK Ravi, as its candidates for the November 3 bypolls in Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly segments.
The byelection in Sira was necessitated following the death of JD(S) legislator B Sathyanarayana in August, while the Rajarajeshwari Nagar (R R Nagar) seat fell vacant after the disqualification of Congress MLA N Munirathna under the anti-defection law last year.
Mr Jayachandra had represented Sira in Tumakuru district in 2008 and 2013 by defeating Sathyanarayana, who in turn had emerged victorious against him in the 2018 polls.
JDS has fielded Sathyanarayana’s wife Ammajamma as its candidate in Sira.
The BJP is yet to announce its nominee and the party’s state unit has sent its recommendations to the high command.
Speculations are rife in the J P Nadda-led party circles that radiologist Dr C M Rajesh Gowda, the son of former Congress MP C P Mudalagiriyappa, who had recently joined the BJP along with several local political workers and leaders, is likely to be named as the candidate.
Congress and JD(S) are traditional rivals for the Sira seat, which the BJP has never won. If BJP fields a strong candidate, the Sira bypoll is
likely to see a three cornered contest.
After the recent victories in K R Pet and Chikkaballapura bypolls, the BJP is keen to make further inroads into the old Mysuru region, where the party is weak.
So the ruling party is expected to go all out in Sira.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s son and state party Vice President B Y Vijayendra had made several visits to the constituency before he was infected with COVID.
In RR Nagar, the Congress has fielded a fresh face — Kusuma H Kusuma (31), who holds an MS degree in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, is currently an assistant professor of computer science engineering at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering.
She is the wife of IAS officer D K Ravi, who died in March 2015.
Her father Hanumantharayappa was earlier with the Congress before jumping ship to JD(S). He had unsuccessfully contested the 2008 assembly polls from RR Nagar on the regional party’s ticket.
JD(S) has shortlisted three probables — party city unit chief R Prakash, RR Nagar President Bettaswamy Gowda and a leader from the Jnananbharathi ward Krishnamurthy.
The ruling BJP is also yet to announce its candidate.