BJP-SP war for Shikaripur seat as Cong withdraws candidate

 
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Bangalore, May 2 (UNI) The last minute decision of the Congress to withdraw its candidate Navilesh from the contest for Shikaripur seat, left Mr B S Yeddyurappa of the BJP and Mr S Bangarappa of the Samajwadi Party as candidates from major political parties to fight for the second phase polls in Karnataka today.

Altogether, nine candidates were left in the fray for Shikaripur seat, after the withdrawal of nominations of five candidates, including the Congress nominee.

Except Mr Yeddyurappa and Mr Bangarappa, all other seven candidates were independents. Another principal political party in the state JD(S) has already extended its support to Mr Bangarappa.

While Mr Yeddyurappa was seeking re-election from Shikaripur for the sixth time, for Mr Bangarappa, it is a maiden attempt to contest from Shikaripur, after leaving his traditional Soraba Assembly seat in Shimoga district.

Mr Bangarappa, who was elected on BJP ticket in 2004 general elections resigned his Lok Sabha membership and quit the party. In the 2005 by-elections, Mr Bangarappa successfully retained Shimoga Lok Sabha seat by contesting as Samajwadi Party nominee and secured a lead of more than 7,000 votes from Shikaripur Assembly segment.

However, for the Soraba Assembly seat, one of the seven Assembly segments of Shimoga district, Mr Bangarappa's sons were locking horns. While his elder son Kumara Bangarappa is seeking re-election for the record fourth time on a Congress ticket, his younger brother Madhu Bangarappa was fighting as SP nominee.

According to official sources, 59 candidates were left in the fray for seven Assembly seats in Shimoga district. For Shimoga town 13 candidates were in the field, including senior BJP leader K S Eswarappa.

In Dakshina Kannada district, as many as 59 candidates were left in the fray for eight Assembly seats, after the withdrawal of 11 candidates on the last date of withdrawal. Those left in the field include former ministers Ramanath Rai (Congress) and Nagaraja Shetty (BJP) for the Bantwal Assembly seat.

The number of candidates left in the fray for Mangalore South (seven), Mangalore North (six), Mangalore city (nine), Puttur (six), Sullia (14), Bantwal (six), Mudabidare (six) and Belthangady (five).

In Udupi district, 25 candidates would fight for five Assembly seats.

In Karkala, it would be a straight contest between BJP's Sunil Kumar and Gopal Bhandary of the Congress.

UNI MV GKT BDP KP2142

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