Clamour for LS poll tickets grows in BJP

Clamour for LS poll tickets grows in BJP

As the 2014 Lok Sabha poll is nearing, clamour for tickets to contest the election among the BJP leaders is on the rise in the last few weeks.

Having been relegated to the third place in the present Assembly, several sitting legislators have set their eyes on New Delhi to start their political innings at the national level, party insiders reveal. Some former legislators, who faced defeat in the Assembly polls, too are trying for a fresh lease of political life and lobbying hard to secure a ticket in the Lok Sabha elections. They are hopeful that the BJP led government would come to power at the Centre.

Party sources said that among the sitting legislators who are keen to contest include ex-deputy chief minister R Ashoka, former ministers Aravind Limbavali, C T Ravi and legislators Sunil Kumar, Suresh Gowda and A Y Narayanaswamy. The former MLAs include S A Ramdas, A Narayanaswamy and Murugesh Nirani.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP secured 19 of the total 28 seats in the State. The party’s tally was reduced to 18 after the Udupi-Chikmagalur seat was wrested by the Congress following incumbent D V Sadananda Gowda donning the mantle of chief minister and entering the State legislature. There is no policy in the BJP that sitting MPs should be given tickets to recontest. “Not all sitting MPs may be given ticket once again. There could be some changes,” State BJP President Pralhad Joshi said and added that the BJP is planning to begin the process of shortlisting candidates soon after the party’s State executive meeting in Bangalore on December 27.

Despite its poor show in the Assembly polls, the party expects to improve its performance in the Lok Sabha polls. It hopes that the price of rice and the UPA government’s scams, coupled with Narendra Modi factor will help its prospects. Besides, people of the State have always voted differently in Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, party strategists feel.

Sources said Ashoka has set his eyes on Bangalore (North) Lok Sabha seat wherein party candidate D B Chandre Gowda defeated C K Jaffer Sharief comfortably in 2009. Aravind Limbavali, who represents the Mahadevapura seat in the Assembly is keen to contest from the Kolar reserved Lok Sabha constituency. Murugesh Nirani, who faced defeat in the Assembly polls in Bilgi, has sought party ticket to contest from Bagalkot Lok Sabha constituency represented by party’s P C Gaddigoudar.

Down south, there is a tussle between former ministers Ramdas and C H Vijayashankar for the Mysore Lok Sabha seat presently held by H Vishwanath of the Congress. At the coast, D V Sadananda Gowda, C T Ravi and Sunil Kumar are being considered for the Udupi-Chikmagalur seat. Sadananda Gowda and former minister B N Bache Gowda are also being considered to take on Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily in Chikkaballapur. Other names doing the rounds are Tumkur rural MLA Suresh Gowda for the Tumkur Lok Sabha seat and MLC Raghunath Rao Mallkapure (Bidar Lok Sabha).

Party sources said if the KJP and the BSR Congress Party merge with the BJP, then the party may offer Shimoga Lok Sabha ticket to Yeddyurappa and Bellary ticket to Sriramulu. If Yeddyurappa’s plans to return to the parent party fails, then the BJP may  consider fielding either Rajya Sabha MP Ayanur Manjunath or former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa from the Shimoga seat. The party is also considering fielding ex-MLA M S Somalingappa from Bellary, former minister Shivanagouda Naik from Raichur and sitting MLC Somanna Bevinamarad from Haveri.

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