BENGALURU: With some parties announcing their candidates’ list, many aspirants who lost out are exploring a party switch to get tickets.
On Tuesday, the BJP announced candidates for 96 wards. Some of the party workers who did not get tickets are former councillors. Many of them are now trying to get tickets from a different party or may opt to contest independently.
“The (list of) the remaining 102 candidates will be released by Friday, and more people may switch parties,” a senior BJP leader said.
Former Congress councillor Poornima Srinivas — daughter of former JD(S) state president Krishnappa — joined the BJP two days ago. K L Thimmananjiah, an independent councillor, had supported the JD(S) before, but now his wife is contesting for Congress.
District in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy told Express that according to their party leaders, Congress’ list of candidates will be finalised by Friday. “Party-hopping during elections is common. We cannot give tickets to two candidates from the same party per ward. Naturally, disappointed people look for other options,” he said.
Reddy confirmed that they are getting requests for Congress tickets from other party members. “In fact, two former councillors of the BJP from C V Raman Nagar constituency approached us for tickets. KPCC has received close to 1,300 applications for tickets, a few of them from BJP and JD(S),” he claimed.
When asked whether his party would give tickets to people from other parties, he said their first choice is Congress workers. “However, it is up to the chief minister and the party president to take the final call,” he said.
BJP MLA Ravi Subramanya representing Basavanagudi constituency also confirmed that many non-BJP party workers and former councillors are approaching them for tickets. “Some have lost hope in their party, so they are looking for a change. At least six people from other parties have approached me in my constituency alone. Personally, I feel that our party workers should be given priority,” he said.
A senior BJP leader, who did not want to be named, said they have decided not to give tickets to former mayors. “There are many allegations against (former mayors) Venkatesh Murthy and Shantha Kumari. Sathyanarayana too has served as mayor,” he said.
“Becoming a councillor after having served as a mayor is not a good trend,” he said explaining the reasons for refusing tickets to them. “We do not know about other parties, but our party is not willing to give tickets to them.” There are now chances that these candidates might hop.
However, other BJP members denied that they are denying tickets to former mayors. Former mayor B S Sathyanarayana, who is also a five-time councillor, said there is no rule that a candidate cannot contest the election after he or she becomes a mayor.
“Doesn’t a former chief minister contest the MLA election?” he asked.
When asked about his next move if he is not given a ticket, Sathyanarayana said, “I have been working for the party for the past three-and-a-half decades. They have to give me a ticket.”
Interestingly, former BJP councillor H N Gangadhar, who had contested from Hegganahalli, will stage a protest on Friday against BJP for not giving him a ticket. He and his followers plan to remove buntings of BJP. He is likely to contest as an independent.