Bypoll: Independent candidate not to contest; cakewalk for BJP

Team Udayavani, Feb 16, 2020, 10:02 AM IST

Bengaluru: With independent candidate B R Anil Kumar on Saturday deciding to ‘retire’ from the contest for one Karnataka legislative council (MLC) seat for which bypoll is scheduled on February 17, it would be a cakewalk for Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who is BJPs candidate.

Kumar, a Congressman, who had filed his nomination with the support of JD(S) leaders as an independent candidate, has written to the assembly secretary- the returning officer for the bypoll about his decision to ‘retire’ from the contest.

Congress had not fielded any candidate for the bypoll, and leader of opposition in the assembly Siddaramaiah had recently said the party had not decided on supporting Kumar’s candidature. I hereby retire from the election on my own wish, Kumar’s letter to the assembly secretary read.

Assembly secretary M K Vishalakshi said Kumar’s decision to retire from the contest would not have any effect, and the election would have to happen, as he did not withdraw his nomination before the scheduled date of February 10. He did not give me any letter, but has verbally communicated to me. However, even if he gives a letter it will have no effect election has to happen, there is no other option, as the contestant’s name would have been gazetted, she told PTI.

The bypolls has been necessitated, with a seat falling vacant, following the election of one of the council member Rizwan Arshad of Congress to the legislative assembly during the December bypoll. This MLC bypoll is crucial for Savadi, who is currently not the member of assembly or council. He can only continue in office as a non-legislator Minister for six months, and the tenure ends on February 19. With Kumar’s decision, polling on Monday is likely to be a mere formality, and Savadi is likely to get elected unopposed, official sources said.

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