The BJP on Friday claimed to have finalised its second list of 58 candidates for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike polls. However, differences of opinion among the leaders prevented the party from releasing the list.
Speaking to reporters after a three-hour meeting with Union Ministers Ananth Kumar, D V Sadananda, former ministers Suresh Kumar, V Somanna and legislators from Bengaluru, BJP’s election in-charge R Ashoka said 58 candidates had been finalised after taking up the selection process on a case-by-case basis.
He said there were three to four aspirants for each ward and the list had been prepared in consultation with the ward-level presidents of the party.
Sources said the main reason for the party not releasing the list was due to the fear of unrest among its ranks. Differences had already cropped up among leaders over the selection of the first list of 96 candidates.
Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had threatened to not campaign for the polls if his 15 candidates were not considered for tickets. He is said to have conveyed the same to party State president Pralhad Joshi.
However, the party is not keen as the winnability of the recommended candidates was not high and also they had parted ways with the BJP to join Yeddyurappa’s erstwhile KJP.
Five former mayors did not figure in the first list with a section of the party leaders opining that they should not be given tickets so that freshers get a chance to contest the polls. However, the former mayors had resented the move.
The unrest following the release of the first list even spilled onto the streets on Friday. Former corporator H N Gangadhar (Rajgopalnagar) and his supporters held a protest at Hegganahalli and removed the BJP banners, expressing their unhappiness over being denied a ticket.
They held local BJP legislator S Muniraju (Dasarahalli) responsible for Gangadhar not getting a ticket and burnt the MLA’s effigy.
The BJP had won the BBMP polls in 2010 bagging 112 of the 198 seats.