BJP candidate in Karnataka quits party, back in Congress

Bengaluru: L. Chandrashekar, the BJP candidate in the by-election to the Karnataka Assembly from Ramanagara on November 3, on Thursday announced that he had quit the party to return to the Congress.

Chandrashekar, 49, who was earlier a Congress leader, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on October 10 to contest the Ramanagara by-poll on the party ticket.

“BJP leaders had promised their support to me when I decided to contest on the party ticket from Ramanagara. However, none of them (BJP leaders) even came forward to campaign for me. So, I made the decision to quit the party and return to Congress,” he told reporters here.

Chandrashekar was contesting against Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy of the JD-S.

As Chandrashekar’s decision comes two days ahead of the by-poll and post the last date of withdrawal of candidatures, an Election Commission official said his name will continue to remain on the Electronic Voting Machines.

The by-election to the southern state’s two Assembly segments — Ramanagara and Jamkhandi — and three Lok Sabha constituencies — Ballari, Shivamogga and Mandya — will be held on Saturday. The vote count will take place on November 6.

Coalition partners Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and Congress are contesting the by-election together in a bid to defeat the BJP.