Over 270 in fray for Karnataka's 17 LS seats
BJP general secretary HN Ananth Kumar, Congress leader Margaret Alva and former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy of JD-S are among the 273 candidates left in the fray in 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka after the expiry of the nomination withdrawal date on Wednesday.india Updated: Apr 08, 2009 22:26 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary HN Ananth Kumar, Congress leader Margaret Alva and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) are among the 273 candidates left in the fray in 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka after the expiry of the nomination withdrawal date on Wednesday.
Voting will take place on April 23. In the remaining 11 seats polling is on April 30.
Bangalore Central, where the Congress has fielded former Bangalore 'super cop' HT Sangliana, has the highest number of candidates in the field at 37. It is followed by Bangalore North with 28 and Bidar in north Karnataka with 27.
The battle for the 17 seats is between BJP, ruling Karnataka for the first time, the Congress and JD-S, though Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded candidates in some constituencies.
Ananth Kumar is seeking re-election for the fifth time in a row from Bangalore South. His main opponent is state Youth Congress president Krishna Byre Gowda, who is contesting for the Lok Sabha for the first time. Gowda is now member of the state assembly.
Margaret Alva, who had been sacked as Congress general secretary for alleging party seats were sold during the May 2008 assembly polls, faces 11 opponents, including BJP's sitting Lok Sabha member Ananth Kumar Hegde.
Hegde is under the election authorities' scanner for alleged anti-minority statements, though he has denied the charges.
CK Jaffer Sharief, former railways minister, has 28 opponents in Bangalore North. His main battle is with DB Chandre Gowda of BJP. Gowda shifted to the BJP from the Congress only last week.
Kumaraswamy, contesting from Bangalore Rural, faces sitting member Tejaswini Gowda of the Congress and BJP's CP Yogeshwar, a Kannada film actor-producer. Yogeshwar was a Congress legislator till last week.
In Bidar the fight is between Dharam Singh and his former colleague in Congress Gurpadappa Nagmarpalli, who crossed over to BJP in March.
In neighbouring Gulbarga, former state Congress president and Congress Working Committee member Mallikarjun Kharge is pitted against Revu Naik Belamagi of BJP and nine others.
The nomination process is on in the 11 Lok Sabha constituencies which figure in the second phase of polls.