Karnataka by-polls: 248 candidates in fray for assembly elections


Bengaluru, Nov 19 For Karnataka by-elections, 248 candidates, including 128 independents have filed their nominations to contest the 15 assembly by-elections in Karnataka on December 5.

“The 248 candidates have filed 353 nominations by November 18 evening, which was the last date for submitting the papers to contest in the by-elections across the state,” the poll official said.

But in Hoskote, one of the 15 assembly constituencies that is expected to witness a high stake battle in Karnataka has “crorepatis” in the fray.

The constituency on the outskirts of Bengaluru is seeing a three-cornered contest between BJP, Congress and JD(S) supported independent candidate.

The nominations will be scrutinised on November 19 and last date of withdrawal is November 21.

Vote count is on December 9.

The BJP and the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) are contesting in all the 15 seats separately that will lead to triangular fights.

The by-elections have been necessitated due to the disqualification of the 14 Congress and 3 Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) rebel legislators after they resigned from their respective assembly seats in July in protest against the former coalition government’s functioning.

Though former assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar disqualified 17 rebels lawmakers on July 25-28 for reportedly defying their party whip, bye-polls in Muski (Raichur district) and R.R. Nagar (Bengaluru southwest) have been withheld due to litigation in the Karnataka High Court over their results in the May 2018 assembly elections.

The bye-elections will be held in Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chickballapura, K.R. Pura, Yeshwanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara, Hosakote, K.R. Pete and Hunsur.

The former ruling allies (Congress and JD-S) are contesting the bye-polls separately as decided after the collapse of their 14-month coalition government on July 23 following the defeat of its chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s trust vote on the floor of the assembly in the absence of the rebels for voting in favour of the confidence motion.

In Hoskote, the ruling BJP has fielded MTB Nagraj, one of the disqualified Congress MLA, as the party candidate; Congress has fielded Padmavathi, who is the wife of Hebbal legislator Byrathi Suresh.

JD(S) has decided not to filed any candidate, and has extended support to BJP’s rebel Sharath Bachegowda, who is contesting as an independent candidate.

According to an election affidavit of MTB Nagaraj filed along with his nomination, his total assets are worth about Rs 1,200 crore, which has grown by over Rs 180 crore in the last 18 months.

Nagaraj, considered one among the state’s “richest politician,” had declared assets worth about Rs 1,015 crore during the 2018 assembly polls.

One among the 17 disqualified legislator, whose resignation and absence from the trust vote led to the collapse of H D Kumaraswamy headed coalition government and paved way for BJP to come to power, he has movable assets worth Rs 419.28 crore, while his wife M Shanthakumari has
Rs 167.34 crore.

His immovable assets include Rs 417.11 crore in self-acquired property and Rs 2.64 crore in inherited property, while wife has self-acquired property valued at Rs 189.14 crore and her inherited property at Rs 27.50 lakh.

The couple has loans from banks and financial institutions to the tune of Rs 27.90 crore and Rs 1.57 crore respectively.

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