Once bitten, twice shy: Karnataka BJP cautiously prepares MLC list

Parties scramble to decide nominees for elections to the Legislative Council, to be held on June 29, with Friday being the last date to file nomination papers

Published: 16th June 2020 06:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2020 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

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BJP Flag used for representational purposes.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The BJP state unit seems to be still reeling from shock delivered by the central leadership in the selection of Rajya Sabha candidates. In a core committee meeting convened on Monday to shortlist candidates for the Legislative Council polls, members are said to have asked party state president Nalin Kumar Kateel and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to seek directions from the top brass on what formula should be applied while shortlisting candidates, least it ends up in an embarrassment yet again.

With five nominations and enough numbers to elect four members to the upper house, the BJP stands to comfortably make nine of its members MLCs. After much deliberation, the core committee is said to have prepared a very cautious list of about a dozen names from the huge list of aspirants of 123 names.
Keen on keeping up his promise, Yediyurappa is said to have sought to field H Vishwanath, R Shankar and M T B Nagaraj, who quit their respective parties and joined the BJP.  

Yediyurappa is also said to have pushed for Sunil Vallyapure’s candidate as his reward for stepping back to allow Kalaburagi MP Umesh Jadhav’s son Dr Arvind Umesh Jadhav’s contest in Chincholi assembly constituency. “Yediyurappa has asked for all four of his candidates to be allowed to contest polls and use five nomination seats to accommodate party workers,” said a BJP source.

Despite the stonewalling, all four of Yediyurappa’s candidates are said to have made it to the list sent to the central leadership. Others names include Mahila Morcha state president Bharati Shetty, former legislators Sogadu Shivanna, Mallikayya Guttedar, BJP state general secretaries Mahesh Tenginakai and Nirmal Kumar Surana, former MLC N Shankarappa and Dakshin Kannada unit officebearer Pratap Simha Nayak.

“The core committee has asked our leaders to talk to the high command, find out what their expectations are and then shortlist names instead of shortlisting names that may not get picked by the parliamentary board,” said a senior leader and member of the BJP Karnataka Core Committee. The core committee is said to have haggled with Yediyurappa to accommodate party workers in at least two out of the four seats up for election.

“The core committee has decided to submit a list of shortlisted candidates, but the final decision will be taken by the BJP parliamentary board,” said Arvind Linbavali, BJP MLA and general secretary, reiterating that the names sent by the core committee need not necessarily be in the final list of candidates.

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