Karnataka politician Umesh Jadhav was a Congress rebel for months - before finally quitting the party ahead of Lok Sabha polls in the state. He joined the BJP and was rewarded with the party's ticket for Kalaburagi where he stood against Congress veteran and sitting lawmaker, Mallikarjun Kharge.
Mr Jadhav's Assembly seat was Chincholi in Kalaburagi. He had to resign from that seat after quitting the Congress, but wanted to keep it in the family. And the BJP decided to listen to his wishes - and Mr Jadhav's son, Avinash will contest for the party in the bypolls on May 19. He will face the Congress's Subash Rathod. And the Congress would dearly wish to defeat the son of the man who embarrassed them with his open defiance of party commands - and who later left the party to join its main political rival.
Another Assembly seat will also vote on May 19, Kundgol, in Dharwad district, which saw the death of its sitting MLA, and minister CS Shivalli of the Congress. The Congress has given the ticket to his wife, Kusumavathi. She will face the BJP's SI Chikkanagowdar.
The Janata Dal Secular is supporting its coalition partner, the Congress, in both these north Karnataka seats. Senior leaders from the main parties have all been campaigning in the seats.
The votes will be counted and results declared on May 23 along with the Lok Sabha results. The Congress-JDS coalition does have a majority in the 224 member Karnataka assembly but it would like to hold on to these two seats. The BJP in turn would be keen to raise its tally to 106 from 104 in a House where the half way mark is 113.
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