JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda handing over the ‘B’ form to Vivekananda in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda handing over the ‘B’ form to Vivekananda in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
| Photo Credit: special arrangement

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had announced candidates to five of the six Legislative Council seats leaving one to its alliance partner the Janata Dal (Secular), will likely give up another seat to its partner making the seat-sharing formula to 4-2. Six Council seats go to polls on June 3.

Indicating confusion between the parties, E.C. Ningaraju, who was given ticket for South Teachers’ constituency by the BJP, filed his nominations on Wednesday. Hours before this, the JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda issued the ‘B’ form to its candidate Vivekananda to contest from the constituency.

Even as Mr. Ningaraju ruled out the possibility of the party asking him to withdraw from the race, sources in the party said he would likely be made to withdraw in favour of the JD(S).

“The alliance had decided on a 4-2 seat sharing formula, which B.S. Yediyurappa had also announced hours before the party high command announced candidates for five seats on May 11. There was some miscommunication, which has been sorted out now. The South Teachers’ constituency was anyway represented by the the JD(S) and it has a stronger base there. Mr. Vivekananda will be the NDA candidate from the seat,” said a senior BJP leader.

Confirming this, late on Wednesday, the BJP in Mysuru acknowledged the JD(S) nominee as the NDA candidate for the South Teachers constituency. In a statement here, the Mysuru unit of the BJP has convened a meeting of the BJP workers at Govinda Rao Memorial Hall in the city before Mr. Vivekananda, the NDA candidate, files his nomination papers.

To confound the confusion already prevailing among the alliance partners, the JD(S) leader and former MLC K.T. Srikante Gowda, who was also a strong aspirant for the regional party’s ticket to contest from South Teachers’ constituency, declared that he will be filing his nomination papers from the constituency on Thursday, which is the last date for filing nominations.

Mr. Srikante Gowda took to his social media account to declare himself as a candidate of the NDA and called upon his supporters to gather at Kalamandira in Mysuru near the Regional Commissioner’s office in the city, where he will be filing his nomination papers on Thursday.

More ‘rebels’ in the fray

In another instance of confusion, the BJP leader from Mangaluru S.R. Harish Acharya filed his nomination papers for South West Teachers’ constituency on Wednesday. This was even after the seat had been allocated to the JD(S), which has fielded MLC Bhoje Gowda.

Meanwhile, former MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat, the sulking BJP leader from Udupi, has threatened to enter the fray as a “rebel” from South West Graduates’ constituency against the saffron party’s official candidate Dhananjaya Sarji.

While Mr. Harish Acharya, who filed his nomination papers for South West Teachers’ constituency, cited the absence of representation to the coastal belt in either the Teachers’ or Graduates’ constituencies as a reason for his decision to contest against the JD(S) candidate S.L. Bhoje Gowda, Mr. Raghupathi Bhat, who had been denied the BJP ticket during the 2023 Assembly elections, said he was entering the fray from South West Graduates’ constituency as the party workers were not satisfied with the “selection of the candidate” by the BJP.

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