21 file papers in Karnataka for April 17 LS polls

Bangalore, March 19: A total of 21 candidates filed their nomination papers Wednesday after the Election Commission notified single phase elections April 17 to the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka.

Among noted candidates filing papers on the first day were Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Industries K.H. Muniyappa of the Congress from the Kolar reserved (SC) seat, about 100 km from here.

Others included Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) five-time winner Ananth Kumar from the Bangalore South seat, BJP’s sitting member in Bangalore Central P.C. Mohan and former state BJP minister Shobha Karandlaje from Udupi-Chikkamgalur in the coastal area.

Ananth Kumar will face Congress nominee and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. He will also be pitted against social activist Nina Nayak of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the constituency, which is a hub of major IT firms.

B.M. Jayadev Mathad is another BJP nominee who filed his papers from the Haveri seat in the central region of the state (Malnad).

Manjunath Bhandary of the Congress filed from Shimoga seat where former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa of the BJP is contesting in place of his younger son B.Y. Raghavendra, who is a sitting member in the 15th Lok Sabha.

Bhandary will also face a tough fight from Geetha of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and wife of Kannada celluloid hero Shivrajkumar and daughter of former chief minister S. Bangarappa of the Congress.

Eight Independents also filed their papers across the state.

JD-S state unit president A. Krishnappa also filed his papers from Tumkur seat, about 70 km from here.

Polling will be held for 11 hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in all constituencies. Counting will be taken up May 16, as in the rest of the country.

Of the 28 seats in the state, five are reserved for SC candidates and two for STs.

In the 2009 elections, the BJP had won 19 seats and Congress six, while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) won three seats.

Nominations can be filed till March 26 and will be scrutinised March 27. Withdrawal will be allowed till March 29.

Formal campaigning for political parties and independent candidates will end April 15.

IANS