BENGALURU: After clearing the names for 96 wards for the ensuing BBMP elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is finding it tough to choose candidates for the remaining 102 wards.
Lobbying has intensified for tickets and has split party leaders on the committee finalising the list.
During the selection of candidates in the first list, former minister V Somanna and former deputy chief minister R Ashok, who is heading the selection committee, had clashed.
According to sources, Somanna was furious with Ashok for trying to pick candidates for the wards in Vijayanagar and Govindaraj Nagar Assembly constituencies, considered Somanna’s political stronghold.
“Who are you to decide the candidates in these two constituencies without giving weightage to local legislators?” Somanna is reported to have asked.
As the sparks threatened to fly, Union Minister Ananth Kumar is said to have intervened and asked Ashok not to finalise any candidate without taking local legislators into confidence.
Meanwhile, the BJP is expected to finalise its second list of candidates for about 60 to 70 wards on Thursday.
Party Bengaluru city unit president Subbanarasimha told Express that the party could even finalise the candidates for all the remaining wards on Thursday itself.
However, candidates for about 15 to 20 wards are likely to be delayed as BJP leaders are keen to net some of the ‘strong’ Congress ticket aspirants who might fail to get a ticket from their own party, BJP sources said.
Many ward-level Congress leaders have been lining up at the BJP office for the past few days, and this continued on Wednesday with former Congress corporator Jayapal joining the party along with his supporters.
“We do not have a strong candidate in Gandhinagar ward and the BJP would prefer to field a former Congressman who is likely join BJP as Congress is likely to deny him a ticket.
“BJP is facing a similar situation in Subash Nagar, Jayamahal and a few more wards. We will like to wait and watch for a few more days before finalising our candidates in such wards,” a BJP source said.