BJP, Cong., JD(S) readying for the contest
Lobbying for nomination by mainstream political parties for the elections to Legislative Council from South Graduates’ constituency has begun to gather momentum after the Election Commission of India notified the process of preparation of the electoral rolls for the constituency earlier this month.
The Regional Commissioner of Mysuru, who is also the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) for the constituency spread across Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Hassan, has called upon eligible persons to submit their applications for inclusion in the electoral rolls before November 6.
Even though Srikante Gowda, sitting MLC representing South Graduates constituency from the JD(S), is unlikely to return to the fray, the party will be making all efforts to retain the seat in its stronghold. The BJP, which lost the last elections held in 2016 by a margin of less than 300 votes, has already begun the process of identifying a candidate while entrusting to party functionaries the key task of voter enrolment
The Congress, meanwhile, has also taken seriously the elections, which is likely to be held sometime in 2022. A meeting attended by Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief D.K. Shivakumar was held in Bengaluru on Friday to shortlist the candidates.
The leaders had shortlisted the names of Madhu Made Gowda, son of late Made Gowda, the former MP and farmers’ leader from Mandya, and Ravi Krishnappa, son of former MLA representing the erstwhile Bannur constituency Krishnappa, for the seat.
The BJP too held its core committee meeting in Mysuru earlier this week and decided to start the preparations early. Former Chairman of Mysore Paints and Varnishes Ltd M.V. Ravishankar, who finished runner-up in the last elections, and former MLC G. Madhusudan are among the aspirants.
If sitting MLC Srikante Gowda opts out of the fray, the JD(S) is expected to consider the candidature of either Keelara Jayaram or S.K .Ramu, said party sources.
Unlike other elections, the preparation for graduates’ constituency elections starts quite early. The prospective candidates and their supporters play an active role in registering the names of graduates in the electoral rolls for the constituency. “Also, a recent order by the Supreme Court has made it clear that graduates or teachers have to be registered afresh for every election. Earlier, it used to be carried forward. But, not anymore,” said a party functionary.
The Election Commission of India has also imposed restrictions on bulk submission of applications for enrolment and directed the EROs to reject bulk applications. “But, what happens on the ground is quite different”, said the leader of a political party familiar with elections.
While candidates and their supporters are planning to enrol graduates based on their caste, community and political affiliation, the leaders of different political parties expect the registrations to cross 2 lakh for South Graduates constituency this time, up from around 1.8 lakh recorded in the last elections.
The South Graduates constituency comprises 29 assembly segments of 26 taluks and Mysuru City. Persons who have been a graduate three years before November 1, 2021, are eligible to send their applications for enrolment to either the ERO, 4 AEROs, who are the Deputy Commissioners of the district or more than 40 designated officers across the four districts including Additional DCs, Assistant Commissioners and Tahsildars.
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