Hectic lobbying for Karnataka BJP tickets

Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said that this was an indication that the BJP was all set to win the upcoming Assembly elections

NEW DELHI: As Karnataka gears up for the Assembly polls, hectic lobbying for the BJP tickets has begun within the party. However, to counter anti-incumbency, the party will be relying mainly on the performance of the legislatures. A survey has begun to track the popularity of the candidates in their respective constituencies.

Regardless of the predictions of a close triangular fight between the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S), there’s apparently a rush for the saffron tickets. Talking about the rush and stiff competition among the ticket seekers, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai went on to say that this was an "indication that the BJP was all set to win the upcoming Assembly elections.

Sounding confident, Mr Bommai maintained, "There will always be competition in a party that can win. We will win."

To track the performance of the candidates, the BJP has deputed "in-charges" in all 224 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka. The in-charges will be spending four days a week in March and five days a week in the month of April in the constituencies. These functionaries will then submit their reports to the state election committee, following which the central election team will take a final call. Mr Bommai has clearly indicated that tickets will be given on the basis of the survey reports and other yardsticks.

Unlike other states, where the BJP dropped a large chunk of its sitting MLAs, the party in Karnataka could only drop 10 to 15 per cent of its existing legislatures. A senior party official claimed that in over 100 Assembly constituencies, "leaders win elections on the basis of their personal experience".

Also, the rival MLAs who crossed over to the BJP were likely to be fielded from their respective berths, sources said. A total of 22 sitting MLAs, including 20 from the Congress and two from the JD(S) have crossed over to the BJP so far.

Sources revealed that the BJP will adhere to the "one ticket per family" formula. Sticking to the formula, former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s son, B.Y. Vijayendra, who is also the vice-president of the BJP state unit, could replace his father from Shikaripura Assembly. However, talks about Mr Vijayendra getting a party ticket prompted some adverse reactions from within the party. BJP’s national general secretary C.T. Ravi hit out, saying that the "decision on candidates will not be taken in anyone's kitchen. Nobody will get a ticket because they are somebody's son."

Mr Ravi asserted that a final decision about giving party tickets will be taken by the parliamentary board of the party.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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