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JD(S) Will Not Contest Upcoming By-polls in Karnataka: H D Deve Gowda

JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda on Wednesday said his party will not contest by-elections for Belgaum Lok Sabha segment, and Basavakalyan, Sindgi, and Maski Assembly seats. The by-poll schedule is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.

“JD(S) will not field its candidates for by-polls to Belgaum Lok Sabha and Basavakalyan, Sindgi and Maski Assembly seats. We don’t have money to fight these elections,” Gowda was quoted as saying to reporters by his office in a release. The former Prime Minister said he will completely involve himself in organizing or building the party for the 2023 assembly polls.

“… I will put all my efforts to save and build the regional party, with the support of leaders and workers,” he said. While by-polls to Belgaum Lok Sabha and Basavakalyan Assembly seats are necessitated following the death of Union Minister Suresh Angadi and MLA B Narayan Rao respectively due to COVID-19 in September last year, Maski seat fell vacant following the disqualification of MLA Prathapagouda Patil.

Patil had won the Maski assembly seat in 2018 from Congress and is now with the BJP. Sindagi MLA and senior JD(S) leader M C Managuli’s death last month, due to age-related ailments, has necessitated the by-polls there.

With an aim to win these seats, the ruling BJP and opposition Congress has already begun the process of shortlisting the candidates, party sources said. Noting that BJP will face a setback in elections to four states this year, Gowda said according to him the saffron party will not get many seats in Tamil Nadu, and lauded the “courage” of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“Despite getting fewer votes, Mamata may retain power…the whole BJP team is camping in West Bengal.

Legislators and Ministers quitting the party may cause a setback to TMC to an extent, but Mamata Banerjee will become CM (of West Bengal) for the third time,” he added. The terms of the legislative assemblies of the four states-Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and the Union Territory of Puducherry end on different dates in May and June and the elections are likely to take place in April.

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