BANGALORE: There would be a yet another flash point in the on-going crisis in the ruling BJP when the party selects its candidates for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha, which could be held in the last week of this month. Sitting Rajya Sabha members Hema Malini and KB Shanappa of the BJP will retire on April 2. Though former CM BS Yeddyurappa’s detractors will go all out to further frustrate him by trying to cut him to size, the Lingayat strongman will do everything possible to regain his position in the organisation, in order to keep his supporters intact.
BJP sources said that no formal discussions have taken place about the candidates but the name of senior party leader V Dhananjaya Kumar is making rounds prominently.
Dhananjaya Kumar has found favour with both Yeddyurappa and Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, but going by the earlier stance of party national general secretary Ananth Kumar, Dhananjaya Kumar may not get a chance. Hema Malini is said to have declined to contest from Karnataka and is believed to have sought a slot from Maharashtra.
The party is not too keen on fielding Shanappa, including his equivocal stance on leadership issue.
According to sources, the high command is keen to send two of its prominent faces — general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan and spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman — to the RS and one could be the candidate from Karnataka.
Of the two candidates retiring, one is a Brahmin (Hema Malini) and another is SC (Shanappa).
Given the highly caste-based polarisation and internecine quarrel within the party, the exercise to choose the candidates could further widen the rift in the already divided family.
The EC will submit list of new MLAs of five states to President after counting; the RS polls will be notified after constitution of Assemblies.