The announcement of candidates by the Karnataka's political Trinity namely Congress, BJP and JD(S) for next month's Legislative Council polls has sparked a huge "nepotism debate". The biennial election to the Karnataka Legislative Council from 20 Local Authorities' Constituencies for 25 seats, due to retirement of sitting members, will be held on December 10.
"In JD(S), eight people from one family are sharing power, but the Congress party is a bit generous on this issue. From AICC national president post to selection for candidates for legislative council polls, Congress has honoured nepotism," the BJP said in a tweet with media reports on family connections of some Congress candidates for MLC polls.
According to Congress sources and reports, several of its candidates for the council polls are relatives of senior party leaders. Among the candidates, Channaraja Basavaraja Hottiholi from Belagavi is the brother of MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar, R Rajendra from Tumkur is the son of former party MLA K N Rajanna, S Ravi from Bangalore Rural is the relative of state Congress President D K Shivakumar, Sunil Gowda Patil from Bijapur is the brother of senior MLA and former Minister M B Patil. While Raichur Congress candidate Sarana Gouda Patil is the nephew of MLA Amaregouda Patil, Bhimrao B Patil from Bidar is the brother of MLA Rajashekhar Patil. Sources said, Bhimanna Naik from Uttara Kannada and Mantar Gowda from Kodagu are also relatives of senior politicians. Mantar Gowda is the son of former Congress leader and ex-Minister A Manju, who is now associated with the BJP. However, after this development, the BJP today relieved Manju from all party responsibilities.
Reacting to BJP's allegation of nepotism, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar said, ".... let them (BJP) have a look at their list first and say as to whom they have given ticket to in Coorg (Kodagu), Dharwad and other places. Let them face the mirror first, we will talk later."
Among BJP candidates, Pradeep Shettar from Dharwad is the brother of senior party leader and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, while D S Arun from Shimoga is son of former Legislative Council chairman D H Shivashanakarmurthy. Suja Kushalappa, who is a candidate from Kodagu, is the brother of Madikeri MLA Appacchu Ranjan.
Meanwhile in JD(S), one more member of its patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda family is entering electoral politics, with his grandson Suraj Revanna finding a place in the party's list of seven candidates for MLC polls. Suraj's candidature in this election marks the entry of the eighth member from the Gowda family into politics. If he wins this poll from Hassan, the family will have its members in all the four major houses of public representatives- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.
The MLC election is necessitated as the term of office of the 25 MLCs is going to end on January 5, 2022. Today is the last date for filing nomination papers and scrutiny will take place tomorrow. According to election officials, a total of 121 candidates have filed 215 nominations. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 26 and counting of votes will take place on December 14.
(With PTI Inputs)