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Congress bats for Jayachandra for upcoming Sira byelections

Minister T B Jayachandra
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Minister T B Jayachandra

Highlights

The Congress in Karnataka on Wednesday said it will recommend former Minister T B Jayachandra's name to the high command as the party's candidate for the by-election to the Sira assembly constituency in Tumakuru district.

Bengaluru: The Congress in Karnataka on Wednesday said it will recommend former Minister T B Jayachandra's name to the high command as the party's candidate for the by-election to the Sira assembly constituency in Tumakuru district.

The bypoll is necessitated following the death of JD(S) legislator B Sathyanarayana last month.

Poll schedule for the seat is yet to be announced by the election commission.

Aimed at retaining the seat that it had lost during the 2018 assembly polls, Congress today held a meeting with party leaders from Tumakuru district, to decide on the poll strategy and to finalise the candidate.

"Our legislature party leader (Siddaramaiah) and I have held discussions with our Tumakuru district leaders...

we have decided to fight the elections together under the Chairmanship of G Parameshwara (former DCM) and K N Rajanna (senior leader) as the co-chairman," KPCC President D K Shivakumar said. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said Rajanna has proposed the name of T B Jayachandra as the party candidate.

"Everyone has agreed to Rajanna's proposal to field Jayachandra and to face the election unitedly. Siddaramaiah and I will send the opinion of the party district leaders to the high command," he said, adding that our elocution related activities will begin from now on and we will face the election together. Jayachandra, who was Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister in the Siddaramaiah government, had represented the constituency twice in 2008 and 2013, by defeating JD(S)' B Sathyanarayana.

However, Sathyanarayana had defeated Jayachandra in the 2018 assembly polls.

With Congress and JD(S) being seen as traditional rivals in the seat that has a considerable Vokkaliga population, it needs to be seen who does the regional party field.

There are talks within the JDS circle that the party might field someone from Sathyanarayana's family, aimed at garnering sympathy votes.

JD(S) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy had recently met party workers to discuss the Sira bypoll.

Terming the seat as the party's stronghold, he had called on workers to face the election unitedly.

The ruling BJP, which has never won the seat, is also drawing up strategy to make inroads.

BJP had fielded S R Gowda in 2018 assembly polls, who had come distant third by securing about 9.41 per cent votes, while Jayachandra and winner Sathyanarayana had secured 35.49 and 41.24 per cent votes respectively.

If BJP fields a strong candidate, Sira bypolls is likely to see a three cornered contest.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who will be on Delhi visit from Thursday is expected to discuss the candidate with BJP high command, party sources said. PTI

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