Bengaluru: Soon after the BJP central election committee released the first list of 72 candidates for the Assembly polls, the party is witnessing a wave of rebellion with some ticket aspirants openly revolting against the party leadership.
The 72 candidates include those recently inducted from the Congress and JD(S). This has not gone down well with many of the old guard who were hoping to get tickets and are now being pressurized by their supporters to contest as rebel candidates.
The state leadership. however. seems confident of dousing the fire and pacifying the rebel leaders considering that the BJP has a strong central leadership with state leaders wary of going against the leadership said party sources.
One leader who feels deprived is former MLA of Bijapur City, Appu Pattana Shetty. The ticket for his constituency has been given to former Union minister and MLC Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who recently joined the party. This decision has irked Appu Pattana Shetty who has openly expressed his displeasure against the state leadership, particularly B.S.Yeddyurappa.
Mr Pattana Shetty said, “The party had assured me that it will not give ticket to Yatnal, but surprisingly, the party has given the ticket to him. I was shocked after seeing the first list. My supporters have pressured me not to work in the elections and have requested me to join another political party. Both Congress and JD(S) leaders have approached me. Within a day or two, I will take an appropriate decision after consulting my supporters”, he said. He expressed his displeasure at the state leadership for not doing anything to pacify him after denying him ticket. “Mr Yatnal is an MLC, if the party wants to induct him into the Cabinet if it wins, I have no objection to it. But why should they give Assembly ticket to an MLC?” he said.
Council member Somanna Bevinamarada is disappointed that the party has denied him ticket for Shiggavi Assembly constituency and instead allotted it to sitting member Basavaraj Bommai. According to him, it was promised during the 2013 Assembly elections that, in 2018, Mr Bommai would give up his seat for him.
Mr Bevinamarada is a K.S. Eshwarappa loyalist and the former Deputy CM had backed his demand for ticket but it was scuttled by Mr Yeddyurappa who ensured ticket for Basavaraj Bommai, sources added.
BJP city president N.R. Ramesh has blamed former Deputy CM R. Ashok for denying the Chikpet ticket to him and said he will take a decision to contest as rebel candidate against Ashok in Padmanabhanagar. Molakalmuru MLA Thippeswamy is annoyed after being denied the ticket which went to Ballari MP B. Sriramulu.
BJP second list likely in three days
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leadership has decided to go slow while finalizing the second list of candidates for the Assembly elections which will be released only in 3-4 days.
Sources said that the state leadership had gone to Delhi on Saturday with the first list of 140 to 160 candidates but the central leadership cleared only 72 names where there were only single aspirants.
For 50 to 65 constituencies, two to three candidates’ names have been shortlisted and there is tough fight between two candidates in many constituencies.
Therefore the party has decided to wait for a few days before releasing the second list, sources told this newspaper.
In the second list, the remaining constituencies in Bengaluru, Udupi, Mangaluru, Malenadu and Uttara Kannada will be given priority. Sources also maintained that though the state leadership had repeatedly said that it will go by a survey report before picking candidates, this has not happened going by the names in the first list.
Meanwhile, state BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa clarified that except him and Ballari MP B. Sreeramulu, no other sitting MP would get the Assembly ticket, thus ruling out the possibility of Udupi Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje getting the ticket for Yeshvanthpur constituency.