Hectic parleys in BJP to evolve consensus on 7 candidates

Yeddyurappa adamant on accommodating KJP loyalists in Tumkur, Bidar constituencies

The BJP top brass has begun the process of working out a compromise formula to iron out differences among its leaders over candidates for seven Lok Sabha constituencies.

The party has already finalised candidates for 21 Lok Sabha constituencies. However, it is yet to do so for Udupi-Chikmagalur, Tumkur, Bidar, Hassan, Mandya, Uttara Kannada and Bellary as there is no consensus on who should be given the ticket.

Party State president Pralhad Joshi is planning to speak to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on a one-to-one basis to evolve a consensus on candidates in Tumkur and Bidar seats.

Yeddyurappa has been insisting that sitting MP G S Basavaraj and Suryakanth Nagamarapalli be allowed to contest from Tumkur and Bidar respectively. Basavaraj’s nomination is being opposed by most of the leaders as he has been suspended for “anti-party activities”.

“I am confident that Yeddyurappa will help me secure the ticket. There are leaders in the BJP who have opposed me throughout. But, for me, working for the upliftment of the constituency is important, irrespective of whether I am in power or not,” Basavaraj said. According to sources, the party may finally fulfil one of the wishes of Yeddyurappa and give Suryakanth the ticket to contest from Bidar. 

Diplomatic reply

In Udupi-Chikmagalur, the fight is between former Shobha Karandlaje and C T Ravi. Both remained diplomatic when contacted. Karandlaje said she is yet to get a word from the party leadership on who will be the candidate. “I have never insisted for any seat. I will abide by the party decision,” Karandlaje said.

Ravi said, “Several of the sitting MLAs and former MLAs have urged me to contest from Udupi-Chikmagalur seat. At the end of the day, I will abide by the party decision. If it fields me, I will contest. If not, I will work for  the victory of the candidate who is chosen for the seat”. 

According to sources, RSS leaders are likely to intervene and evolve a consensus. Both Karandlaje and Ravi are RSS loyalists. 

Ditto in Uttara Kannada, where the renomination of sitting MP Ananth Kumar Hegde is being opposed by a section of leaders in the party, who have proposed the name of former minister Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri for the seat. However, Hegde said there was no confusion and expressed confidence that he would be given the ticket. 

“A section of the local media is trying to create confusion. But, I have the support of the people and am confident of winning,” Ananth Kumar said.

There is a difference of opinion on whether Basavananda Swami, a visually challenged seer, should be given the ticket to contest from Hassan. The party is making efforts to rope in ‘real star’ Upendra to contest from Mandya.

State leaders are likely to hold discussions with party national president Rajnath Singh when he arrives in Bangalore on Friday to attend a RSS meet before finalising the candidates.

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