With only a couple of days left for campaigning for the election to the Karnataka West Graduates Constituency, Janata Dal (Secular) has decided to withdraw from the contest and announce support to the Independent candidate Basavaraj Gurikar.
Addressing presspersons here on Friday, former Minister and JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti said that after the date of the announcement of the election, the party could not get in touch with the electorate in four districts and following a direction from party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, the party candidate for the constituency had withdrawn from the contest.
Mr. Horatti clarified that in order to maintain equidistance from Congress and BJP, the party had decided to support the candidature of Mr. Basavaraj Gurikar.
To a query, he clarified that withdrawing from the contest after having begun campaigning would not do any damage to the party’s image. He clarified that decision was taken after careful consideration of the poll scenario.
JD(S) candidate Shivashankar Kallur clarified that as a loyal worker of the party, he had withdrawn from the contest following a decision taken by Mr. Horatti and the party leadership. He said he had never betrayed his party and would abide by the party’s decision.
‘Strengthen my position’
Thanking Mr. Deve Gowda and Mr.Kumaraswamy for the unconditional support, Mr. Gurikar, who is the National Vice-President of All-India Primary Teachers’ Federation (AIPTF), expressed confidence that he would win the election as the “voters too had responded positively” to his candidature.
JD(S) leaders N.H. Konaraddi, Gururaj Hunasimarad, Rajanna Koravi and others were present.
The CPI and the CPI(M) have also extended support to Mr. Gurikar.
The Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) too had extended support to Mr. Gurikar. District Secretary of SUCI(C) Ramanjanappa Aldalli told presspersons in Hubballi said that at a time when mainstream political parties were following “anti-people policies”, Mr. Gurikar could become the voice of the people and part of alternative people’s movement.