State BJP to shortlist LS candidates tomorrow

Top leaders of the State BJP will meet in Bangalore on Monday to shortlist candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.

The State unit has already held consultations with the party’s district-level office-bearers and core committees as part of its candidate selection exercise. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP secured 19 of the total 28 seats in the State. 

Its 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. However, not all will be given tickets to re-contest. 

Initially, there was a proposal that eight youngsters should be given tickets, but now the party is banking only on winnability.

The outcome of an internal survey on the prospects of the party in each of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies will be known next week. According to sources in the party, the survey had been commissioned by the party central leadership last month. The findings of the survey would be considered before the State unit finalises its list of candidates, which would be forwarded to the party central leadership, they said. 

The survey will come in handy in finalising candidates in constituencies where more than one party heavyweight has showed interest to contest, including Bangalore North (D V Sadananda Gowda, C N Ashwanthnarayana, and R Ashoka); Bagalkot (P C Gaddigoudar and Murgesh Nirani); Tumkur (Sogadu Shivanna and Suresh Gowda) and Chitradurga (Janar­dhana Swamy and A Nara­yana­swamy).

Monday’s meeting will also finalise whether it should field former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa from Shimoga. On his part, Yeddyurappa has said he is not interested. 

The party is likely to reserve the Bellary seat to B Sriramulu, who has been showing keen interest in merging his party BSR Congress with BJP. However, the party is waiting for a nod from the central leadership.

The BJP is yet to take a decision on former minister Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli’s demand that his son Suryakanth Narayan be given the BJP ticket to contest from the Bidar Lok Sabha constituency. 

It was on this condition that a reluctant Nagamarapalli, who had won on a KJP ticket in the 2013 Assembly polls, had agreed to join the BJP.

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