Unanimity eludes BJP panel on names for 6 seats

Difference of opinion among BJP leaders on party candidates for Udupi-Chikmagalur, Tumkur, Bidar, Hassan, Mandya and Uttara Kannada Lok Sabha constituencies at the election committee meeting has resulted in the party deciding to hold one more round of discussions, before finalising the names for these constituencies.

At the meeting, the party top brass, including Pralhad Joshi, B S Yeddyurappa, Ananth Kumar, Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa finalised candidates for 21 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State. The list of finalised candidates will be released in New Delhi on March 8 after clearance by the party’s central election committee, sources said. 

The party has kept the Bellary seat open for B Sriramulu, which would be given to him after he merges his BSR Congress with the BJP. With March 26 being the last date for filing nominations, BSR Congress will have to rush through the formalities for the merger.

Finalising the candidate in Udupi-Chikmagalur has become a bone of contention with former minister C T Ravi opposing the candidature of Shobha Karandlaje, branding her as an ‘outsider’ to the constituency.  

In Bidar, the party is divided on whether the candidate should be former minister Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli or his son Suryakanth. It is a choice between experience (Gurupadappa) and youth (Suryakanth).

Yeddyurappa is learnt to be still insisting that sitting MP G S Basavaraju should be allowed to contest from Tumkur. However, a majority of the top leaders are opposing Basavaraju’s choice. Again, there is no unison on whether Basavananda Swami, a visually challenged seer, should be given the ticket to contest from Hassan or not.

The party is making efforts to rope in ‘real star’ Upendra to contest from Mandya. In Uttara Kannada, the contest for the ticket is between sitting MP Ananth Kumar Hegde and MLA Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri . However, the former is likely to be given the ticket, sources said.

List of finalised candidates for 21 constituencies

Bagalkot: P C Gaddigoudar
Bangalore-Central: P C Mohan
Bangalore Rural: P Muniraju
Bangalore South: Ananth Kumar
B’lore North: D V Sadananda Gowda 
Belgaum: Suresh Angadi
Bijapur: Ramesh Jigajinagi
Chamarajanagar: A R Krishnamurthy
Chikkaballapur: B N Bache Gowda 
Chikkodi: Ramesh Katti
Chitradurga: Janardhana Swamy
Dakshina Kannada: Nalin Kumar Kateel
Davangere: G M Siddesh
Dharwad: Pralhad Joshi
Gulbarga: Revu Naik Belamagi
Haveri: Shivakumar Udasi
Koppal: S Shivaramagouda
Kolar: Bethamangala Nanjundaswamy
Mysore: C H Vijayashankar 
Raichur: Shivanagouda Naik
Shimoga: B S Yeddyurappa
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