Bengaluru: In an expected move, state BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel on Thursday expelled rebel BJP candidates Sharath Bachegowda and Kaviraj Urs, who are contesting against party candidates, M.T.B. Nagaraj and Anand Singh, respectively, in Hosakote and Vijayanagara Assembly constituencies.
Earlier, the party had warned both candidates to withdraw their nominations and back the official candidates in the by-elections.
They were also set a deadline of Thursday to withdraw from the contest but both rebel candidates were firm on contesting following which they were expelled.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party has been able to convince two of its rebel candidates in Athani and Hirekerur to withdraw from the fray.
One of the candidates was a Lingayat pontiff who was planning to contest on a Janata Dal (Secular) ticket in Hirekerur constituency against Bharatiya Janata Party candidate B.C. Patil. The other was a supporter of Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who was planning to contest, again on a Janata Dal (Secular) ticket in the Athani constituency against the Bharatiya Janata Party's official candidate Mahesh Kumatalli. Both candidates have withdrawn their nominations, said BJP sources.