Over 220 seats but few key personalities

May 9th, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, May 9 (IANS) Karnataka goes to polls from Saturday to elect a 224-seat assembly. But very few are considered key constituencies. The two most prominent are Shikaripura in Shimoga district, around 270 km from Bangalore, and Ramanagaram, about 40 km from here.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) chief ministieral candidate, B.S. Yediyurappa, is seeking re-election from Shikaripura.

Former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is fighting again on Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) ticket from Ramanagaram.

Yediyurappa faces a formidable rival in Samajwadi Party leader and former chief minister S. Bangarappa, who joined the BJP after quitting the Congress and won the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat in 2004. Bangarappa is being supported by both the Congress and JD-S.

Kumaraswamy’s main opponent is Congress candidate Mamatha Nichani, the eldest daughter of former Karnataka chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde. She is in the electoral battle for the first time.

The other prominent personalities in the fray are:

Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting M.H. Ambareesh from Srirangapatna in Mandya district (Congress ticket);

Siddaramaiah from Varuna in Mysore district (Congress);

H.D. Revanna, elder brother of Kumaraswamy, from Holenarsipur in Hassan district (JD-S);

Janardhana Reddy, mining magnate, from Harapanahalli in Davangere district (BJP);

Mallikharjun Kharge, state Congress chief, from Chitapur in Gulbarga district;

M.P. Prakash, fomrer JD-S deputy chief minister, now in Congress, from Harapanahalli;

Dharam Singh, former Congress chief minister, from Jevargi in Gulbarga district;

Roshan Baig from Shivajinagar in Bangalore city (Congress);

Mallikharjun Kharge and Darama Singh are seeking relection for the ninth time in a row.

While Dharam Singh is seeking relection from the same Jewargi constituency, Kharge was forced to shift from Gurmitkal to Chitapur as the former has become a general seat.

Kharge won eight times from Gurmitkal and shed tears while filing nomination papers in Chitapur as he had to abandon his old seat. He said he did not want to contest from Gurmitkal as that would have deprived a general candidate an opportunity to fight the election.

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