BSY, BJP differ over Basavaraj, Dhananjay

Party wants the former CM to contest from Shimoga; he is yet to decide

BSY, BJP differ over Basavaraj, Dhananjay

Differences of opinion are said to have cropped up between former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and a section of BJP top brass over the candidature of G S Basavaraj from Tumkur parliamentary constituency and the re-induction of former union minister V Dhananjay Kumar into the party fold. 

At a meeting to shortlist Lok Sabha candidates in Bangalore on Monday, Yeddyurappa is said to have insisted that Basavaraj, who is the sitting MP from Tumkur, be given a ticket to re-contest. 

However, other leaders including party State president Pralhad Joshi and national general secretary Ananth Kumar felt that Basavaraj should not be given an opportunity to re-contest as he had spoken against the BJP several times even while being in the party.

Yeddyurappa is understood to have also sought that Dhananjay Kumar, who has been expelled from the BJP for speaking against senior leader L K Advani, should be brought back into the party fold. Sources said Yeddyurappa sought the Shimoga seat should for his son and sitting MP B Y Raghavendra and the Haveri seat for Shivakumar Udasi.

However, the opinion of a majority of BJP leaders is that Yeddyurappa himself should contest from Shimoga. 

This was conveyed to Yeddyurappa at Monday’s meeting. But, the former chief minister sought time to take a final decision.

Former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda is said to have insisted that he be allowed to contest from Bangalore North. 

Former deputy chief minister R Ashoka is also keen to contest from this constituency. Gowda reportedly told the meeting he was not interested in contesting from any other constituency including his home base of Udupi-Chikmagalur. Sources said Malleswaram MLA C N Ashwathanarayan may emerge as the consensus candidate for Bangalore North.Briefing reporters, Joshi said the State unit of the party will send its recommendation on the Lok Sabha candidates to the party central leadership by February 10. 

He said the party had put in place an elaborate process including consultation with district office-bearers and the core-committees before shortlisting the candidates. Joshi said the BJP will come out with constituency-level manifestos for all the 28 Lok Sabha segments by collecting inputs from the people. 

A campaign “your voice, our manifesto” by the party has already commenced. Senior  leader Yashwanth Sinha will be in Bangalore on February 26 to finalise the manifestos.The meeting also discussed the modalities for the rallies of the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at Davangere and Mangalore on February 18 and at Gulbarga and Hubli-Dharwad on February 28.

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