All our 16 MPs will be fielded: BS Yeddyurappa sets speculation to rest

First list of candidates to be finalised at core committee meeting on March 15.

Bengaluru: State BJP president, B.S.Yeddyurappa, on Wednesday made it clear that all the 16 sitting MPs of the party from the state would be fielded again this Lok Sabha poll, putting to rest speculation that a few could be dropped in the face of anti-incumbency in their constituencies.

"All sitting MPs will be given tickets and the first list of candidates will be finalised at the core committee meeting on March 15. Following this we will meet the party's central leaders in Delhi on March 16 for their approval of candidates for 22 of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies," he revealed.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr. Yeddyurappa said the party would take a final call on whether or not to field a candidate in Mandya based on whether Ms Sumalatha Ambarish, wife of the late actor/politician, M H Ambarish, decides to contest from it as an independent or on a BJP ticket. He revealed that her decision was expected on March 18.

The BJP chief was confident that Dr. Umesh Jadhav, who recently quit the Congress to join the party, would be fielded from Kalaburagi against Congress veteran, Mallikarjuna Kharge. "His resignation (from the assembly) will be accepted (by the Speaker). We have discussed the matter with a legal expert and there is no reason why it should not be," he argued, adding that Ms Tejaswini Ananthkumar, wife of the late Union minister, was likely to be given the ticket for Bengaluru south .

Claiming that many Congress and JD(S) leaders were willing to join the BJP, he said the party would take a call on this after discussing the matter with its central leadership.

Revealing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would hold four or five rallies in Karnataka for the coming poll, he said as he had already addressed two rallies in north Karnataka, the rest would be held in south,central and coastal Karnataka.

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