Janata Dal (S) candidate from Gokak seat in Belagavi district Chandan Giddanavar has withdrawn his nomination papers in favour of the Congress candidate to fight against former minister and BJP heavy weight Ramesh Jarkiholi for the May 10 Assembly poll.

Following the development, JD(S) has decided to expel the candidate from the party. Jarkiholi -- the sworn enemy of the state Congress president D.K. Shivakumar -- is being backed by the BJP. Now, there is a direct fight between Congress and BJP.

Ramesh Jarkiholi
Ramesh Jarkiholi

The minority votes which were expected to get distributed between Congress and JD(S), will now be polled for the grand-old party. Jarkiholi now will have to strive hard for polarising Hindu votes. Dr Mahantesh Kadadi is the Congress candidate.

Giddanavar has already announced his support for the Congress. The Gokak seat is witnessing high voltage contest as Shivakumar is making an all-out attempt to cut Jarkiholi to size in his own constituency which is a general constituency, dominated by Lingayat votes.

Bengaluru : KPCC President DK Shivakumar
Bengaluru : KPCC President DK Shivakumar.IANS

JD(S) candidate from Mangaluru (Ullal) constituency Altaf Kumpala had withdrawn his nomination papers without the party's knowledge.

The Mangaluru seat is witnessing a straight fight between Congress (former minister U.T. Khader) and SDPI (Riyaz Farangipet).

(With inputs from IANS)