Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Congress Has 5 Parent-Child Combos Contesting

Karnataka Congress list of candidates has four fathers and sons and one father and daughter being given tickets

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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's son to contest from his old seat of Varuna


Bengaluru:  Politics in the country is often about family bonding and the Congress candidates' list for Karnataka has reiterated that. The Congress list, announced on Sunday evening, had no fewer than 5 parent-child pairs among the 218 candidates who would seek election on May 12.

The Janata Dal Secular is not averse to giving tickets to relatives of senior leaders. While the party is yet to announce its list, its chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda told NDTV that two members of his family would be given tickets. The BJP has so far fielded 154 candidates and says no one from the candidates' families are included yet.  

The distribution of tickets has triggered violence and protests at the Congress offices in some parts of the state, including Mandya, Chikmagalur and Nelamangala. The party is yet to announce candidates for five seats.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has moved to Chamundeshwari, keeping the ticket of his old seat of Varuna for his son Yatheendra, who is making his political debut. A doctor, Yatheendra has been busy working with his father's social media campaign team in this election.

Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy is joined on the candidate list by his daughter, Sowmya Reddy, a first-timer who has been given the ticket for Jayanagar in south Bengaluru. Sowmya has been a social worker with a special focus on animal welfare.

Law Minister TB Jayachandra will not be the sole contestant from his family. His son, Santhosh, another first-timer, is standing for election from Chikanayakanahalli.

Former minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa and his son, current minister SS Mallikarjun, are both candidates from Davanagere South and North respectively.
 
sadananda gowda
BJP's Sadananda Gowda says Congress has a habit of giving tickets to its own clan

Real estate millionaire and housing minister M Krishnappa and his son Priya Krishna, are both contesting from Bengaluru for a place in Vidhana Soudha. Priya Krishna had been working in the family real estate business.

Besides, Mallikarjun Kharge's son, IT minister Priyank Kharge is a candidate; as is Roopa Shashikar, the daughter of MP representing Kolar, KH Muniyappa.

The Congress' DK Shivakumar, whose brother is a Member of Parliament, defended the family connections.

The candidates, he said, have been a part of the various constituencies and they have been taking care of their constituencies and are well versed in it. "A few constituencies have been under the existing leaders," Mr Shivakumar told NDTV, adding that the party is focused on "winning seats from the opposition party".  

The Congress won 122 of the state's 224 seats in 2013, the BJP and Deve Gowda's JD(S) won 40 each.

The BJP's Sadananda Gowda was critical. Mr Gowda's party, which is going all out to wrest the state from the Congress, has consistently targetted the Congress on what it calls "dynastic politics". This "legacy" of the Congress, Mr Gowda said, has been followed since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru.

"There have times when many potential leaders have been denied seats by Congress as the party tends to favour its own clan. Congress follows this practice even at the state level, like Siddaramaiah , Jayachandra and Ramalinga Reddy," he said.

Regarding other parties, Mr Gowda said, it is not a "followed as a habit, like the Congress". "Sometimes, the parties are forced to encourage family members owing to various requirements," he said.

Asked about the BJP giving tickets to relatives of senior leaders, Mr Gowda said: "In certain places, the citizens of the constituency look out for strong leaders, who may be the sons of politicians. And the party may also feel that there are better chances of winning in a particular constituency, if a candidate with a political affiliation is contesting, as they may have the support of the public. This compulsion leads us to choose sons of politicians as candidates."

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