In all, 30 candidates, including three each from the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress and one from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) are in the fray for one Lok Sabha and two legislative assembly by-elections in Karnataka on April 17, an official said on Sunday.
"After the last date of withdrawal of nominations on Saturday, 10 candidates are in the fray for the Belgaum Lok Sabha seat, 12 for Basavakalyan and eight for Maski (reserved) assembly seats in Bidar and Raichur districts of the state," a poll official told IANS here.
Of the 30 candidates for the three by-elections, 26 are men and four are women, while 14 of them are independents.
Congress, JD(S), BJP fielding candidates
BJP has fielded Mangala, widow of former Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, whose sudden death due to Covid on September 23, 2020 caused the vacancy in the Belgaum parliamentary constituency.
Angadi had won the high-profile seat in the state's northwest region for the fourth consecutive term since 2004.
Congress has fielded its state unit working president Satish Jarkiholi against Mangala.
Satish, 58, is a Congress legislator from the Yemakanmardi assembly seat in the border district of the state.
Satish is also the younger brother of the ruling BJP's tainted former state minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who is embroiled in the sleaze CD that has rocked the state recently.
Though the JD-S is not contesting in Belgaum and Maski, it has fielded Syed Yasrab Ali Quadri for Basavakalyan against Mallamma of Congress and Saharanu Salaga of BJP and others.
Mallamma is the widow of B. Narayan Rao, whose death due to Covid on September 24, 2020 caused the vacancy in the seat.
Former BJP legislator Mallikarjun Khuba is also contesting in Basavakalyan as an Independent after the ruling party denied ticket to him.
In Maski, BJP's contestant is Pratapgouda Patil, who resigned from the seat in July 2019 and defected from Congress. Patil's disqualification under the anti-defection law caused the vacancy in the reserved seat.
Congress fielded Basavanagoud Turvihal who lost to Patil in the May 2018 assembly elections as a BJP candidate and joined the Opposition party recently.
In the May 2019 general elections, BJP won 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats from the southern state, Congress (2) and one Independent.
In the 225-member state Assembly, BJP has 118, Congress 67, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 32, Independents (2), BSP (1), speaker (1), nominated (1) and vacant (3).
In the 15 assembly by-elections held on December 5, 2019, BJP won 12, Congress (2) and an independent (1).
In the twin by-polls held in Bengaluru's RR Nagar and Sira in Tumakur district on November 2020 amid the Covid pandemic, the BJP wrested both seats from the Congress and JD-S respectively.
By-election to the Sindgi assembly seat in Vijayapura district is yet to be announced though it fell vacant due to the death of its sitting JD-S member M C Managuli due to Covid on January 28 at a private hospital in Bengaluru.
Managuli, 85, was a cabinet minister in the 14-month-old JD-S Congress coalition government, which fell on July 23, 2019 after its Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote in the state legislative assembly following the resignation of 17 legislators of both parties in the same month (July 2019).
Managuli's son Ashok, who joined Congress recently, will be its candidate in the by-election when held.
(With inputs from IANS)