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Karnataka bypolls: Congress leaders woo JDS local leaders

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Ahead of the November 3 bypolls, Congress seems to be wooing local JDS leaders in RR Nagar and Sira assembly segments. Over 450 JDS leaders from these constituencies joined Congress in the last one week.

According to a senior Congress leader who didn’t wish to be named, those who had joined the party were various office bearers of the JDS, local leaders and party workers. “Their joining Congress is significant in these bypolls because many of them are prominent Vokkaliga and Kuruba leaders and both the constituencies have a good number of voters from these two communities,’’ the leader said.

Ramesh Babu who is contesting the upcoming MLC elections from Congress switched from JDS and joined the party a few weeks back. Kusuma, daughter of senior JDS leader Hanumantharayappa, not only joined the party but is also contesting on the Congress ticket from RR Nagar.

Prof Harish Ramaswamy, political analyst, said, “ This is because JDS is more family-centric. Sooner or later, it will hit them.” “The old Mysore region sees D K Shivakumar (KPCC president) as the alternative Vokkaliga leader, all these days it was only Deve Gowda. Shivakumar’s popularity increased after he became the KPCC president.

This is why more number of JDS loyalists are shifting to Congress. The trend is likely to continue till BBMP elections next year where a few local leaders and former councillors from JDS are expected to join Congress,” Prof Harish said. In 2015, despite the Congress ruling the State, it could not be in power in the BBMP on its own. “This time, this trend will help the Congress. These local leaders joining Congress will help the party,’’ he said.

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