State BJP's big three sit together

The State BJP on Friday commenced the process of selecting its candidate for the bypoll to the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency.

The core committee members of the State unit of the party including chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda, party State President K S Eshwarappa, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa among others participated in the meeting. Office bearers of the Udupi and Chikmagalur units of the party were also present.

The names of  BJP Chikmagalur unit president M K Pranesh and party Udupi district President Uday Kumar Shetty and K Keshava, an influential party functionary from the region, are learnt to have been shortlisted by the party to contest the bypoll. The names of former Karkala MLA Sunil Kumar and Kundapur MLA Haladi Srinivas Shetty also did the rounds. Both Kumar and Shetty are said to be not very keen to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Speaking to reporters, Eshwarappa said the party will finalise its candidate in a week’s time.
It was also for the first time that the trioka of Gowda, Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa got together on the same platform after the RSS intervened last week to patch up differences amongst them. There has been an uneasy truce since then with Yeddyurappa launching a state-wide tour with his supporters, Eshwarappa taking indirect potshots at Yeddyurappa and Gowda giving dressing down to Yeddyurappa’s supporters soon after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The meeting also decided to hold several conventions in the days to come to strengthen the state unit. Divisional level meetings of the party workers will be held on February 4, meeting of leaders from backward classes on February 3 and meeting of party legislators and MPs on February 13, Eshwarappa said.

The Election Commission of India is yet to announce the dates for the Udupi-Chikmagalur bypolls. But, winning the polls will be a matter of prestige for the BJP as the bypoll has been necessitated following chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda vacating the seat following his election to the Legislative Council.

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