BJP withdraws from Karnataka parliamentary bypolls

Bangalore, Aug 7 : The Bharatiya Janata Party Wednesday withdrew its candidates from the Aug 21 bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka, saying it did not want a split in anti-Congress votes.

Now it will be a straight contest for the Bangalore Rural and Mandya seats between the ruling Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular.

"We have withdrawn our candidates as our aim is to defeat the Congress and we did not want a split in anti-Congress votes," Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson C. T. Ravi told reporters here.

Wednesday was the last day for withdrawal of nominations. Vote count is on Aug 24.

The bypolls follow as H.D. Kumaraswamy and N. Cheluvarayaswamy, both JD-S, quit the Lok Sabha seats after winning the May 5 elections to the Karnataka assembly.

Bangalore Rural seat was held by Kumaraswamy and Mandya, about 80km from Bangalore, by Cheluvarayaswamy. The two constituencies are considered JD-S strongholds.

The JDS has fielded Kumarawamy's wife Anita from Bangalore Rural and former legislator C. S. Puttaraju from Mandya.

Kumaraswamy is the son of JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda.

The Congress has pitted D. K. Suresh, brother of party legislator and former minister D. K. Shivakumar, against Anita Kumaraswamy and popular actress Ramya is taking on Puttaraju in Mandya.

Through there are 11 independents in Bangalore Rural and seven in Mandya, the fight is between the Congress and JD-S nominees.

This is the first bypoll the Congress is facing after returning to power in Karnataka on its own after nine years defeating BJP in the May 5 assembly election.

--IANS (Posted on 07-08-2013)

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