JD(S) Bellary candidate quites party, joins Congress

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Bangalore, May 12 (UNI) Janata Dal(S) today received another jolt as its candidate Diwakar Babu contesting from Bellary Assembly segment, which goes to polls in the second phase on May 16, quit the party and joined Congress.

Mr Babu had actually quit Congress after he was denied ticket from the segment and contested on the JD(S) ticket in protest against the party giving ticket to Mr Anil Lad who had jumped into Congress wagon from BJP.

The highly volatile elections in Bellary city, which has seen a number of 'mining money bags' in this mineral-rich district entering the fray, took a new turn with Mr Babu's return to Congress fold.

The Congress, which is determined to regain its lost ground in the district had roped in Mr Lad, a noted mine owner, to pit against the BJP leader and former Mayor Somashekar Reddy.

In its bid to avoid the split of 'anti-BJP' votes Congress today succeeded in persuaded Mr Diwakar Babu, who would now retire from the contest as the JD(S) candidate.

Cine star and Union Minister M H Ambareesh played a key role in bringing Mr Babu back to Congress fold to dilute the BJP hold in the district which had turned into a bastion of the saffron party by 'mine magnets' Karunakara Reddy, MP, Janardhana Reddy, MLC, and former Minister Sriramulu.

It may be recalled that the Congress to bolster its forces in the district had roped-in former JD(S) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister M P Prakash and fielded him from Harapanahalli.

Mr Prakash is fighting Karunakara Reddy, who is seeking an entry into state legislature.

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