Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party is targeting victory in at least 12 seats of the 15 Assembly constituencies which will go to polls on October 21 but it is not going to be an easy task with BJP candidates who were unsuccessful in the May, 2018 assembly elections likely to stoutly oppose the allotment of poll tickets to these rebels.
In fact, these candidates and BJP workers have already requested the party state leadership not to give tickets to disqualified MLAs Gopalaiah, S.T. Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj and M.T.B. Nagaraj from Mahalaxmi Layout, Yeshwantapur, KR Puram and Hosakote Assembly constituencies respectively. Reason: these BJP candidates had fought the Congress and JD(S) MLAs tooth and nail in the last polls with some of them losing by narrow margins.
Sources did not rule out the possibility of some of these defeated candidates and their supporters remaining neutral during the poll campaign if tickets are allotted to the disqualified MLAs despite their plea.
In Mahalaxmi Layout, BJP candidate N.L. Narendra Babu had contested against JD(S) candidate Gopalaiah and lost last time.
This time, BJP leader and former deputy mayor, Harish is seeking the ticket with his supporters staging a dharna in front of CM Yediyurappa's house recently.
In Yeshwantpur, BJP workers have already approached the state leadership to give the ticket to actor turned politician Jaggesh and not disqualified MLA, S.T. Somashekar.
Mr. Jaggesh had contested in 2018 and lost. In KR Puram, defeated BJP candidate Nandesh Reddy has openly opposed giving the ticket to rebel MLA Byrathi Basavaraj.
In Hosakote, the unsuccessful candidate in the 2018 Assembly elections, Sharath Bachegowda is seeking the ticket though the party may have to give in to the pressure of disqualified MLA, M.T.B. Nagaraj.
A similar situation prevails in constituencies like Hirekerur and Athani where BJP workers and local leaders are opposing ticket allotment to B.C. Patil and Mahesh Kumatalli respectively. In Hirekerur, BJP candidate U.B. Banakar was defeated by Congress candidate B.C. Patil by a narrow margin last time while in Athani, local BJP leaders are opposing the allotment of the ticket to Mahesh Kumatalli with Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi keen on contesting from the constituency where he lost last time.