Renukacharya joins KJP; to contest from Honnali

Renukacharya joins KJP;  to contest from Honnali

Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) chief  B S Yeddyurappa must have heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday when former minister M P Renukacharya joined his party.

Renukacharya’s entry into the KJP comes at a time when a few other loyalists of Yeddyurappa, including V Somanna and Umesh Katti, have back-tracked and decided to stay with the BJP. He will contest from his home turf Honnali in Davangere district.

Renukacharya was recently expelled from the BJP and later dismissed from the State Cabinet by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar for making allegations of corruption against senior party leader D V Sadananda Gowda.

Hours after he confirmed his entry into the KJP, Yeddyurappa announced that Renukacharya will contest the Assembly polls from Honnali. He also announced the names of 32 others in the party’s second list of candidates. The first list of 69 candidates was announced last week.

Speaking to reporters, Renukacharya said he had always wanted to join the KJP and the BJP had deliberately expelled him to save itself the embarrassment of a minister quitting the ruling party to join another party.

There were reports that Shobha Karandlaje was opposed to the entry of Renukacharya into KJP, as he had once rebelled against Yeddyurappa. Also Renukacharya had demanded her ouster from the Cabinet. But today, she was very much present when Renukacharya walked into the party office. She offered no comments.

Second list

Prominent among those who figure in the KJP’s second list of candidates include retired IAS officer I R Perumal. He will contest from Shivajinagar. Former legislator H M Vishwanath, who quit the JD(S) to join the KJP, will contest from Belur.

Former ministers Basavaraj Patil Anwari will contest from Gangavathi, former ministers Vyjanath Patil from Sedam, Babu Rao Chauhan (Gulbarga - Rural), Shivananda Nayak (Bhatkal) and former legislators Ningappa and Gangadharanayak will be contesting from Tumkur Rural and Manvi, respectively. Chauhan, after realising that the Congress party was not in favour of fielding him from Gulbarga, decided to quit the party, it is said.

Former minister Basavaraj Patil Attur’s wife Mallamma will contest from Basavakalyan.
Replying to queries on whether the back-tracking of Umesh Katti had been a blow to him, Yeddyurappa said, “I never invited him to join the KJP. We will give preference to youth, women, minorities and dalits. The next list of candidates will be announced in a few days.”

Of the 33 candidates announced on Saturday, four belong to the SC community, two STs, two women, one Muslim, one Jain, four Vokkaligas and two Balijas, Yeddyurappa said.

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