Bangalore : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday withdrew its candidates from byelections to the Bangalore rural and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies as part of an understanding with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to take on the ruling Congress.
BJP legislator M Srinivas representing the Bangalore South Assembly constituency withdrew his papers from the Bangalore rural constituency, while K S Doreswamy withdrew his nomination from Mandya. Both were official nominees of the party.
The constituencies are considered Vokkaliga strongholds and the BJP has no considerable vote base.
JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy seems to be keen on an alliance with the BJP for fighting the Congress in all elections in the State.
When contacted by Deccan Herald, the former chief minister said, “Based on the results of this byelections and the possible changes in the political scenario of the State, we will decide whether or not to continue with the co-operation.”
His father and party national president H D Deve Gowda, who had said that there would be no truck with the BJP, was not available for comments.
Kumaraswamy said his party and the BJP believed that the Congress was their main enemy and it was the sole purpose which drove both the political opponents to join hands for the elections.
‘Only a strategy’: BJP legislator R Ashoka argued that his party was not ready to call it a tie-up. It’s only a strategy to defeat the Congress in the byelections. He was under pressure from the party to contest from Bangalore Rural constituency but he was reluctant.
He played a key role in striking the deal with Kumaraswamy. Central leaders wanted the state unit to field candidates.
BJP state general secretary C T Ravi said the move was mutually beneficial as it would prevent splitting of votes which would otherwise benefit the Congress.
Former party state president K S Eshwarappa said the BJP would not be campaigning for the JD(S) candidates but would request voters to reject the Congress.
Kumaraswamy said the BJP has also expressed that its primary agenda is to defeat the Congress, and hence it made sense to join forces.
“The Congress government has been functioning against the people with its policies. It is, therefore, imperative to fight the elections together, ” he said.
‘Take and give’: Kumaraswamy said that in this kind of a situation, the JD(S) is ready to take, and give, all co-operation to the other opposition parties for future elections in Karnataka.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on his part, said that his party aims at defeating the JD(S) in its bastion.
The JD(S) has not fielded its candidates for the by-polls to three legislative council seats from the local authorities constituencies of Mysore, Dharwad and Chitradurga. The elections are on August 22.
Nine in fray: Nine candidates are in the fray in Mandya, which is witnessing a direct fight between actor Ramya of the Congress and C S Puttaraju of the JD(S).
K S Nandini Jayaram, who had filed her nomination on a Sarvodaya Party ticket from Mandya, withdrew her nominations on Wednesday.
She said she had withdrawn the papers in support of the Congress nominee.Siddaramaiah had appealed to Sarvodaya Party chief and MLA K S Puttanaiah to support the Congress candidate.