Bengaluru, Feb 26: Even before the coalition partners in Karnataka - JD (S) and Congress finalise the seat-sharing formula, JD (S) leader Madhu Bangarappa emerged as the consensus candidate to fight from Shimoga, where he had stormed the BJP bastion in November by-elections, held to the Lok Sabha polls.
The name of Mr Bangarappa was announced by JD (S) national president HD Deve Gowda on Monday, while senior leaders of the coalition parties were yet to formalise the alliance.
Mr Bangarappa had created flutter in the BJP camp by emerging winner in about four Assembly segments, before losing the seat to BJP candidate B Y Raghavendra, son of BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa in Karnataka. Former Prime Minister Mr Gowda, who had announced that the coming Lok Sbha elections will be fought in partnership with the Congress, for which party's senior leaders were holding talks with the Congress to formalise the seat arrangement, visited Bangarappa's residence and announced his candidature.
Shimoga, once a citadel of Congress, had turned into a BJP bastion, ever since state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa's son B Y Raghavendra won the seat for the saffron party in 2009 with a huge margin, which was followed by his father B S Yeddyurappa in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as well.
However, in November by-elections, BJP had to struggle to retain the seat and its margin downed to only 52000 votes, as against its margin of lead over 3.5 lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Reacting over the party's decision to once again field him as the coalition JD(S)-Congress candidate from Shimoga seat, Mr Bangarappa said "I am looking forward to contest the seat and I have full confidence to upset the BJP".