BENGALURU: The BJP State Core Committee on Saturday decided to send three names, including that of sitting Rajya Sabha member Prabhakar Kore, to the party high command for the Rajya Sabha polls to be held on June 19. Sources said several names were discussed at the core committee that decided to send three names -- Prabhakar Kore, Ramesh Katti and Prakash Shetty -- to the party high command. Katti is a former Lok Sabha member from Chikkodi in Belagavi district, while Shetty is a hotelier from Udupi.
The BJP, with its strength of 117 MLAs in the Assembly, can comfortably ensure the victory of two of its candidates, while the Congress will get one seat and the fourth seat is likely to go to the Congress-JDS combine candidate. Each candidate requires 45 votes to make it to the RS. “The Central leaders may accept the names sent by the state core committee or may consider other names also. The Parliamentary Board meeting in New Delhi on Sunday is likely to clear the names,” sources said. Tuesday is the last day for filing nominations.
The Congress has already announced senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge as its candidate, while former PM HD Deve Gowda is likely to be announced as the JDS candidate. The JDS requires Congress’ support to send Gowda to the RS and it is yet to officially announce its decision. Meanwhile, hectic lobbying is on for the ticket in the BJP. Senior leader Umesh Katti and several Lingayat leaders are batting for his brother Ramesh, while a section of BJP leaders, including Deputy CM Laxman Savadi, is said to be rooting for Kore.
However, the decision to recommend Prakash Shetty’s name came as a surprise to many. Party said that in 2014 too, the state core committee had considered his name for the RS polls for one of the two seats, but Kore’s name was finalized. “National leaders are expected to clear the list before Monday. We hope that it would be Shetty and Katti,” said another senior BJP leader. Party sources said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa averted a possible showdown by recommending both Katti and Kore’s names. Several names, including those of retired IAS officer Madan Gopal, BJP leaders M Nagaraj and Nirmal Kumar Surana, too were said to be discussed at the meeting.