K’taka polls: Congress, BJP vying to contact winnable independent candidates

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K’taka polls: Congress, BJP vying to contact winnable independent candidates

Bengaluru: With the stage set for counting of votes and declaration of results, the national parties in Karnataka are focussing their attention on winnable candidates who contested the May 10 Assembly elections independently.

As per sources, Congress has already approached S.I. Chikkanagoudar of the Kundgol constituency in the Dharwad district. There is a direct contest between Chikkanagoudar and BJP candidate M.R. Patil.

Acting on reports of Chikkanagoudar’s possible victory, the Congress has already invited him to join hands with the party. Chikkanagoudar is a follower of former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar through whom the party is approaching him, sources say.

Chikkanagoudar contested independently after BJP denied him tickets. National parties have also approached M.P. Latha Mallikarjun, who is contesting as an independent candidate from the Harapanahalli seat in the Bellary district.

Latha, daughter of late senior Congress leader M.P. Prakash was denied a ticket by the Congress.

Sources explain that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has made a personal call and spoke to her. The Congress leaders have also approached her already to break the ice.

In 2018, one independent candidate won in Assembly elections. In the 2013 elections, nine independent candidates were elected and got a vote share of 7.4 per cent. Six independents had won in 2008 while 17 independents had won elections in 2004. The 1999 elections saw 19 independent candidates getting elected to the state assembly.

This time due to rebellion and denial of tickets many potential candidates have contested as independents and have a good chance of winning. With photo finish prediction of results, political parties are wooing the candidates.

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