Shah's diktat not to announce candidates, a setback to BSY

Yeddyurappa has already named around 25 nominees

Shah's diktat not to announce candidates, a setback to BSY

The strict instruction of the BJP national president Amit Shah that candidates for the Assembly polls should not be announced during the course of the ongoing Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivarthana Yatra, has come as a setback for the BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa.

Yeddyurappa's detractors in the party have been expressing their displeasure over him unilaterally naming the party candidates during the yatra that began on November 2, 2017.

At the meeting to review the poll preparedness of the state unit in Bengaluru on Sunday, Shah appreciated the efforts behind the yatra but is said to have directed Yeddyurappa not to name any candidates.

"There will be demand for tickets. If (Union Minister) Ananth Kumar assures (Udupi-Chikkamagalur MP) Shobha Karandlaje the ticket, I am not responsible. It is only an assurance. Who gets the ticket will be decided by us (party central leadership)" he told the meeting, a loaded statement directed at Yeddyurappa.

The statement is being read in the BJP circles as a message that even the candidature of Shobha, considered close to Yeddyurappa, will be decided by the central leadership.

It all started in Tumakuru, with Yeddyurappa announcing that 'Masala' Jayaram will be the party's official candidate for this year's Assembly polls from the Turuvekere constituency. Jayaram had unsuccessfully contested the 2013 Assembly elections from Yeddyurappa's erstwhile Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).

Later, at a public convention during the yatra in Tiptur in Tumakuru district, Yeddyurappa announced that former MLA B C Nagesh will be the BJP's official candidate from the constituency.

Ever since, Yeddyurappa has named around 20-25 candidates as the party's official nominees for the polls. There were problems in Kalaburagi, Bidar and Shivamogga districts with the former chief minister assuring some of his erstwhile KJP followers that they will get preference while the party decides the candidates.

Last week, known Yeddyurappa detractor and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council K S Eshwarappa openly opposed the naming of candidates during the course of the yatra.

Shah, on Sunday, added that the framework set by him for candidate selection should be strictly followed. A core team headed by Yeddyurappa should "silently" shortlist and informally assess two to three candidates for each Assembly constituency during the yatra.

This informal assessment will form the base for a survey to be conducted by an independent agency on the winnability of the shortlisted candidates once the yatra concludes on January 28. The final list will be drawn based on the survey findings and another simultaneous independent ground reality study, which will be conducted by the central leadership.


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