BENGALURU: Mandya Lok Sabha seat, which has turned into a bone of contention between alliance partners BJP and JDS, is set off a ripple of discontent among ticket aspirants. With the JDS firm on taking Mandya, the BJP has to accommodate Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh elsewhere, and the party high command is planning to placate her by offering her Bengaluru Rural LS seat.
Keeping a close watch on these equations, MLC CP Yogeshwara, who had been eyeing Bengaluru Rural, made a quick move. He called on JDS supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Sunday evening and presented his case with statistics of previous elections. In the 2009 LS polls, he had garnered 3.6 lakh votes as against former CM H D Kumaraswamy’s 4.9 lakh votes. Yogeshwara tried to convince Gowda that he was the fit BJP-JDS candidate, as he could rake in the votes of both parties.
Yogeshwara, who had earlier held talks with Kumaraswamy with regard to Bengaluru Rural seat, was forced to meet Gowda. He is among many BJP ticket aspirants from Old Mysuru region, including Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, who have already met Gowda as he is likely to have a big say in the selection of BJP candidates too.
The BJP, though, is likely to field Sumalatha from Bengaluru Rural, which has a mix of urban and rural assembly constituencies, a party source said. Sumalatha had lobbied strongly for Mandya and had met PM Narendra Modi, BJP President J P Nadda and General Secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh in New Delhi recently.
BJP sources say the situation is quite sticky as Bengaluru North cannot be given to Sumalatha, as it must go to a Vokkaliga candidate since sitting MP D V Sadananda Gowda is likely to retire from electoral politics. Bengaluru Rural could be a better option for Sumalatha as she would be pitched against sitting Congress MP D K Suresh, younger brother of DCM D K Shivakumar. Suresh had sparked a controversy by stating that if the Centre continued with stepmotherly treatment to the state, a situation may arise where people will seek a separate nation for southern states. So, the BJP high command is in search of a candidate who can defeat Suresh.