Karnataka MLC polls: Ministerial post is next stop for two BJP candidates

MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar confident of being inducted as CM BS Yediyurappa fulfilled their promise of making them MLCs.

Published: 19th June 2020 06:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2020 09:24 AM   |  A+A-

BJP leaders Aravind Limbavali, DyCM Govind Karjol and Nalin Kumar Kateel accompany MLC candidate Pratap Simha Nayak

BJP leaders Aravind Limbavali, DyCM Govind Karjol and Nalin Kumar Kateel accompany MLC candidate Pratap Simha Nayak

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Two of the four candidates from the BJP who filed their nominations on Thursday for the upcoming MLC polls are gearing up not just to return as legislators but become ministers in the BS Yediyurappa cabinet.

After Yediyurappa fulfilled his assurance of making them MLCs, despite resistance from within the party, MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar are confident of being inducted as ministers.

With the BJP parliamentary committee clearing three out of his four candidates, Yediyurappa is now compelled to accommodate candidates picked primarily by the party and backed by the Sangh when he nominates five members to the Legislative Council.

Yediyurappa had vigorously lobbied for Shankar, Nagaraj, AH Vishwanath and Sunil Vallyapure to be made MLC candidates. The party agreed to three of his candidates but left out Vishwanath and accommodated former Dakshina Kannada party unit chief Pratap Simha Nayak as its fourth candidate.

The logic behind the selection was to reward Shankar and Sunil Vallyapure for cooperating with the party and not contesting the December 2019 bypolls from Ranebennur and the May 2019 bypolls from Chincholi respectively.

While the party pointed out that Nagaraj and Vishwanath had been given tickets to contest the December 2019 bypolls but had lost, the former has been made an MLC candidate to compensate for his electoral loss against ex-BJP youth leader Sharath Bachegowda who broke away from the party and contested independently.

Neither Yediyurappa nor the two MLC candidates have made any secret in the past about the two becoming ministers. "The party has made me an MLC candidate and I am hopeful I will be made a minister too. We quit our former parties and joined the BJP and we were promised cabinet berths but the final decision lies with the Chief Minister," Nagaraj told The New Indian Express.

If the two are inducted into the cabinet, Yediyurappa will be left with just four more berths of which two, in his own words, have to be kept vacant for two more former Congress MLAs who were disqualified — Muniratna and Pratap Gowda Patil. But a host of aspirants, including Umesh Katti, Halappa Achar, Arvind Limbavali, etc, are vying for those last two cabinet berths.

Of the two candidates fielded by the Congress, BK Hariprasad is said to be the central leadership, specifically Ahmed Patel’s, pick while Nassir Ahmed is said to be backed by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. 

Even as theories that Hariprasad’s candidature is aimed at undermining Siddaramaiah’s clout are being floated, sources say that the apparent warmth between Hariprasad and KPCC chief DK Shivakumar, whose cold rivalry with Siddaramaiah is no secret, is more of an afterthought.


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