Fence-sitters force BJP to delay release of list

Fence-sitters force BJP to delay release of list

Faced with the problem of several fence-sitters in its ranks, the State unit of the BJP is likely to put on hold the announcement of candidates in constituencies represented by such legislators till the last minute.

The BJP will announce its first list of candidates in the first week of April, but this list will leave out constituencies where the sitting legislators are in two minds on continuing in the party.

While 17 MLAs have already put in their papers and officially declared that they will join either B S Yeddyurappa’s KJP or the Congress, it is no secret that several other sitting BJP legislators are eagerly trying for Congress tickets.

Party sources said Basavaraj Bommai, Anand Asnotikar, Anand Singh, Prathap Gouda Patil, Belur Gopalakrishna, V Somanna, Raju Gowda, among others, have been trying to get Congress tickets.

Legislators Srishailappa Bidarur and Lakshman Savadi are said to be in two minds over joining the KJP. The BJP has decided to play a waiting game and want the fencesitters to make the first move.

They would have to come forward and commit themselves that they would stay with the BJP, in order to get party tickets, the sources said and added that alternative candidates had already been shortlisted in these constituencies.

The stalemate is likely to continue for some time as the official announcement of the Congress list is likely to be delayed due to infighting over issue of tickets in the party.
BJP sources said it would be embarrassing for the party if a legislator quits after getting the party ticket. Any way, after much dilly-dallying, ministers M P Renukacharya, Murugesh Nirani and Umesh Katti are joining the KJP this week. The party will announce its candidates in constituencies represented by these ministers in the first list itself.

The party is yet to take a decision on whether to issue party tickets to sitting legislators facing corruption charges.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, BJP State president Pralhad Joshi said the party election committee would meet in Bangalore on March 31 and collect inputs from various district units, before finalising the list.

He said there were multiple contenders in several constituencies and the party had decided to depute a few senior leaders to visit some of the constituencies to ascertain the ground realities.

Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, ministers Aravind Limbavali and C T Ravi will tour the constituencies and submit their report to the party leadership by April 2, Joshi said.

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