V.S. Ugrappa, senior leader of the Congress, and J. Shanta of the BJP, filed their nomination papers to contest in the byelection to the Lok Sabha from Ballari Parliamentary Constituency on Tuesday.
Byelection to the Ballari Lok Sabha seat has been necessitated after B. Sriramulu, Vice-Ppresident of the State BJP, tendered his resignation to contest in the recent elections to the Assembly.
It was a show of strength by both the parties when the candidates of either parties, accompanied by a host of leaders, came in large processions to file their nomination papers, after offering puja at the Sri Kanaka Durgamma Temple, the principal deity of Ballari. Movement of vehicular traffic on the main road, leading to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, was diverted and regulated for more than four hours because of the processions.
Ms. Shanta, accompanied by Union Minister Ramesh Jigajinagi, Mr. Sriramulu, Ravikumar, State BJP general secretary, G. Somashekar Reddy, MLA, Venkat Mahipal, and several other leaders, filed her nomination papers. Mr. Ugrappa, with a huge contingent of party leaders, including Minister D.K. Shivakumar, KPCC Working President Dinesh Gundu Rao, Allum Veerbhadrappa, P.T. Parmeshwar Naik, E. Tukaram, Bheema Naik, B. Nagendra, J.N. Ganesh (all legislators), Syed Nasir Hussain, MP (Rajya Sabha), performed puja at Sri Kanaka Durgamma Temple and reached the venue to file his nomination papers.
Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao said that Mr. Ugrappa was the unanimous choice of the party and there was no confusion among the party leaders, particularly in Ballari district.
“We are confident that Mr. Ugrappa, who is well-read and experienced in politics and is capable of raising the issues pertaining to Ballari and also of the State in Parliament, would be blessed by the people of Ballari,” he said.
Mr. Rao dismissed comments by Mr. Sriramulu that Mr. Ugrappa was an outsider and without any address in the constituency saying that any person, with voting rights, could contest in any elections and Mr. Ugrappa was not new to Ballari. There is history that outsiders have contested and won in Ballari.
Mr. Sriramulu, while talking to presspersons, expressed the confidence that Ms. Shanta would win as the people of Ballari have been extending their full support to the BJP.
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