Hassan: The state unit of BJP picked Arun Somanna, son of former minister V Somanna, for Arasikere Assembly constituency, but the leaders are in a quandary as the candidate has opted out on grounds that he prefers to contest from an urban seat.
Mr Arun Somanna, a resident of Bengaluru was picked by BJP leaders for Arasikere since he has the support of significant number of Lingayat voters, despite opposition from the local unit with office bearers suggesting a local candidate.
Curious to know whether Mr Arun Somanna was interested in contesting from Arasikere, some party leaders repeatedly attempted to reach him but his cell phone was switched off. When some party workers met Mr Somanna at his residence in Bengaluru, he reportedly told them that his son Mr Arun Somanna was not keen on contesting from Arasikere, and queried “How strong is the BJP in Arasikere for Arun to contest?”.
The upshot: party leaders have no choice but to find a replacement for Mr Arun Somanna. The names of leaders such as KV N Shivu, Vijayaprabhu and GVT Basavraju are doing the rounds for the ticket, with frontrunner, GVT Basavraju, saying he was on way to Bengaluru to meet leaders regarding the party ticket.
Arasikere was once represented by Mr A S Basavraj of BJP but since the party lost its base, Janata Dal (S) nominee and legislator Shivalinge Gowda has turned a force to reckon with in the constituency....