K’taka CM can smile...

The Asian Age - - Edit -

Kar­nataka CM Sid­dara­ma­iah may have some rea­son to smile. Con­trary to the Congress’ cus­tom where the cov­eted “B” form is rarely a given, he re­leased an al­most com­plete list of 218 can­di­dates for the May 12 Assem­bly polls in one go. Fend­ing off ob­jec­tions from party stal­warts, he renom­i­nated not just 117 MLAs, he gave tick­ets as promised to all his JD( S) and BJP pro­tégés, who will prove cru­cial post- poll if and when it comes to a fight for the chief min­is­ter­ship. This in­cludes wealthy in­dus­tri­al­ist Ashok Kheny, for whom he wan­gled Bi­dar South in the face of ob­jec­tions by se­nior Con­gress­man Mal­likar­jun Kharge.

While Mr Kharge is un­likely to work against the party, the prob­lems posed by 12 sit­ting leg­is­la­tors, de­nied tick­ets ei­ther due to their du­bi­ous track record or poor health, can’t be over­stated. Spe­cially af­ter Ba­galkot MLA H. Y. Meti, a former min­is­ter in­volved in a sex scan­dal, was renom­i­nated, Mandya strong­man ac­tor Am­bar­ish failed to get his nom­i­nees in and couldn’t stop an­gry work­ers from run­ning amok in Mandya.

The CM him­self faced the em­bar­rass­ment of hav­ing his re- elec­tion bid re­stricted to a sin­gle seat, Vokkaliga- dom­i­nated Chamundesh­wari, which is a tough call. In caste- driven Kar­nataka, Mr Sid­dara­ma­iah’s Lin­gayat ploy to break the BJP’s hold over the ma­jor­ity com­mu­nity may or may not work to the Congress’ ad­van­tage. But in play­ing the dy­nast card, let­ting se­nior min­is­ters field their progeny, the BJP will have a field day.

But the BJP's B. S. Yed­dyu­rappa is likely to field his son B. S. Vi­jayen­dra against Sid­daramiah's son in Varuna, while S. M. Kr­ishna's daugh­ter Shamb­havi may get a ticket in Ben­galuru.

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