Top BJP leaders in the state are set for a day-long meeting here on Monday to compile a list of probable candidates for 16 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The party leadership has a tough task at hand as it is considering replacing incumbent candidates in a few constituencies and has to deal with many senior leaders vying for tickets.
The meeting, to be chaired by party state president Prahlad Joshi, will elicit frank suggestions from local BJP core committees from 16 Lok Sabha constituencies during the selection process.
Party Firm on BSY for Shimoga
Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s continued reluctance to contest from Shimoga constituency and his disinterest in party affairs are likely to come up for discussion. Though Yeddyurappa reiterated his stand against contesting the Lok Sabha polls on Sunday, sources said there is no change in the party’s decision to field him in Shimoga.
Speaking to Express, a senior BJP leader recalled a similar scenario in 2009 when Yeddyurappa, after swearing that he had no plans of fielding his son BY Raghavendra from Shimoga Lok Sabha seat, later made him the candidate.
Yeddyurappa’s statements on the issue and his recent disinterest in attending Assembly sessions are being seen as pressure tactics to force the BJP national leadership to give him greater importance and also reward KJP leaders who joined the party along with him recently.
In the Line for Tickets
The party leaders are on a sticky wicket in Bangalore North constituency with former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda and former deputy chief minister R Ashoka slugging it out for the ticket. “There are signs of Ashoka backing out of the race. In that event, Sadananda Gowda would be an automatic choice. But if Ashoka stands adamant, then he is certain to clinch the ticket being from Bangalore,” a source said.
Tumkur is another constituency which is proving problematic with Yeddyurappa in favour of re-nominating incumbent MP G S Basavaraju, who has earned the wrath of BJP national leaders for his diatribe against them. Selection of candidates for Mysore, Mandya, Koppal, Bangalore Central, Bangalore Rural, Chikballapur, Chitradurga, Bidar, Bagalkot and Raichur constituencies would be discussed on Monday.