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In Karnataka, Congress, BJP candidates back out of polls despite being nominated

Two leaders each of the Congress and BJP have refused to contest the upcoming Karnataka assembly election despite being nominated by their parties.

Karnataka Elections 2018 Updated: Apr 26, 2018 09:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Congress,BJP,Karnataka Election
Congress leadera MH Ambareesh and MR Seetharam have refused to contest the Karnataka election,(AP File Photo)

Congress leader MH Ambareesh’s announcement on Tuesday that he would not defend his seat of Mandya even after getting the ticket highlighted a trend of candidates, across party lines, refusing to contest the assembly election this time despite being nominated.

Ambareesh, a former Union minister and popular film star, said he was refusing to contest because of his advancing age. “I will always be grateful to the people of Mandya for the support they have given me. My party also did not issue a B -form (nomination form) to anybody else till now, that shows their respect for me,” he said.

Another Congress leader and state minister for planning MR Seetharam, too, refused to contest saying his decision was based on his lack of preparedness.

“I last contested elections in 2008, when I lost. In 2013, I wasn’t given a ticket but later they made me a member of the Legislative Council and a minister. I was only informed that I would contest the polls this time about 15 days ago. This left me with very little time to prepare,” Seetharam said.

State Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “In Ambareesh’s case, we respected his seniority and decided to give him a ticket. We also left the final decision of contesting to him because he is a very popular leader,” he said.

“Seetharam, meanwhile, had made it clear a while ago that he did not wish to contest. But we took a decision to field him because we felt he could give the BJP candidate a tough fight,” Gundu Rao said.

Even in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two candidates have refused to contest. Senior BJP leader V Somanna’s son Arun, who was given the ticket from Arsikere in Hassan district, and BK Manjunath from Sira have refused. Repeated attempts to reach Arun Somanna and Manjunath were unsuccessful.

Party spokesperson S Prakash said this was an unfortunate development and could be explained by the increase in expenditure and the lack of confidence of the candidate of a win.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 09:00 IST