BJP and Congress candidates will file their nomination papers for by-election from Hunsur, Athani, Kagwad and Gokak Assembly constituencies on Monday which is the last date for filing nominations.

BJP rebel Ashok Pujari who joined JD(S) will also file papers today. Former MLA A H Vishwanath too will file his nomination papers today, as a BJP candidate for the upcoming bypolls to Hunsur Assembly segment.

Disqualified MLA and former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi will file nomination papers from Gokak on a BJP ticket. He has been pitted against his younger sibling Lakhan Jarkiholi who is the Congress candidate. 

A host of BJP leaders, including minister B Sriramulu, Chamarajanagar MP V Srinivas Prasad, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, BJP leader K Shivaram are likely to be present during Vishwanath’s nomination.

Also, BJP candidate Srimant Patil will file papers from Kagwad. Former MLC Raju Kage who quit the BJP is filing nomination as a Congress candidate. BJP candidate Mahesh Kumathalli, who is being opposed by supporters of deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi, will also file papers. Gajanan Mangsuli, who is a Congress candidate, will file his nominations too. 

All candidates are expected to exhibit their strength during filing of nominations today.

17 MLAs were disqualified earlier this year at the end of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s reign, by the then-Speaker Ramesh Kumar. 16 of them joined the BJP, while Roshan Baig refrained from joining the party.

On November 13, they were granted relief by the Supreme Court to contest by-polls. The apex court also upheld their disqualification.

Karnataka will go to polls on December 5 for the seats that were vacated when the rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs were disqualified. Their disqualification caused the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy administration and paved the way for BS Yediyurappa to return to the chief minister’s seat. With rebels bidding goodbye to their parties and joining the opposition, only time will tell who gets to the top.