Bengaluru: Gopalaiah, the BJP candidate from Mahalakshmi Layout, BC Patil, the BJP candidate from Hirekerur, Srimanth Patil, the BJP candidate from Kagwad and Ramesh Jarkiholi, the BJP candidate from Gokak all filed their nominations on November 18. 

And what was common among all of them? 

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Well, as they filed their nominations, their relatives too filed nominations along with them! 

Gopalaiah’s wife, BC Patil’s daughter Srishti, Srimanth Patil’s son and Ramesh’s brother Satish filed their nominations. 

These relatives filed nominations as independent candidates. 

But why would relatives file nominations? 

Well, as per sources, it is a strategy to retain the seats within the family fold.

As you all might be aware, the Supreme Court upheld the disqualification of as many as 17 disqualified MLAs. The then Karnataka Speaker Ramesh Kumar had disqualified them earlier in the year. 

Keeping this in mind, these disqualified MLAs are apprehensive that their resignations might be rejected.  

So in the event of the returning officers rejecting their nominations, they always have the recourse to fielding their own relatives. However, if their nominations are accepted, the relatives will withdraw their nominations as independent candidates. 

There is another interesting development which took place last year in relation to this tactic. 

Mulbagal MLA and Congress candidate Kothur Manjunath filed his nominations in the last year’s Assembly elections. But his nomination was rejected on the grounds that the Karnataka high court had set aside his nomination as he had allegedly produced a fake caste certificate. 

At that point in time, as his nomination was rejected, the Congress had no other candidate in place. 

It is keeping such developments in mind that the disqualified MLAs have devised a plan. 

Meanwhile, other bigwigs like MTB Nagaraj from Hoskote, H Vishwanath from Hunsur and even Lakhan Jarkiholi (from Gokak on a Congress ticket) filed their nominations on November 18.