In Karnataka, JD(S) withdraws candidate from Jayanagar seat, pledges support to ally Congress' Sowmya Reddy

The Janata Dal (Secular) on Tuesday withdrew its candidate from the Jayanagar Assembly constituency for the 11 June bypoll and extended the party's support to its coalition partner, the Congress. JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda announced that his party candidate Kalegowda was "retiring" from the contest.

JD(S) would support Congress' Sowmya Reddy, he said, and asked party men and leaders to campaign in her favour. Gowda's announcement followed a meeting between him and senior Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy, who is also the Congress candidates' father.

File photo of H D Deve Gowda. AFP

File photo of H D Deve Gowda. AFP

The Karnataka Assembly election was held on 12 May but the Jayanagar poll was countermanded following the death of BJP candidate BN Vijayakumar, who was holding the seat. BJP has named BN Prahlad, brother of Vijaykumar, as its candidate.

Both, Congress and JD(S) had fielded candidates against each other despite being coalition partners, in the recent election to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly seat in the city. Congress candidate Munirathna had won the seat, relegating the JD(S) candidate to a distant third.

The withdrawal by the JD(S) comes as a testimony to the growing awareness of the strength of a united Opposition. The bypolls that took place in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Nagaland resulted in a shocking defeat for the BJP at most seats. The BJP was able to win just three out of the 14 seats — four Lok Sabha, and 10 Assembly — where by-elections were held on 28 May. The only Lok Sabha seat that the BJP retained was of the Palghar constituency in Maharashtra.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 05, 2018 19:47:24 IST

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