Ticket rush: Many MPs, MLCs aspiring to enter Assembly poll fray

Ticket rush: Many MPs, MLCs aspiring to enter Assembly poll fray

Ticket rush: Many MPs, MLCs aspiring to enter Assembly poll fray

With the rush for party tickets heating up, sitting Lok Sabha and Legislative Council members from the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP are making a beeline to contest the upcoming Assembly elections.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, a Lok Sabha member from Shimoga, has already declared that he would contest the Assembly polls from the Shikaripura constituency. According to sources, party MPs B Sriramulu and Shobha Karandlaje are aspiring a return to state politics. Similarly, Pratap Simha wants to try his luck in the Assembly polls.

Bellary MP Sriramulu, who is known to wield significant clout in Ballari region, has lined himself up for the B Form from the Bellary Assembly (ST Reserve) constituency, which he vacated after his Lok Sabha win. Simha, who represents Mysore-Kodagu in the Lok Sabha, is said to be vying for the Hunsur Assembly constituency. Udupi-Chikmagalur MP Shobha is also aspiring to contest the upcoming polls from a seat in Bengaluru, sources say. The BJP central leadership, however, is wary of fielding MPs, except Yeddyurappa who is the the party's chief ministerial face.

BJP MLC K S Eshwarappa is said to be an aspirant from the Shimoga constituency, whereas another MLC V Somanna has announced his intention to contest from the Hanur seat in Chamarajanagar district.

Congress' Chikkodi MP Prakash Hukkeri is said to be planning to field his son Ganesh from the Lok Sabha seat in 2019, while he wants to contest the Assembly polls.

At least eight Congress MLCs are keen on contesting the Assembly polls, it is said. This includes Motamma (Mudigere), Planning Minister M R Seetharam (Malleswaram), G Raghu Achar (Chitradurga), V S Ugrappa, Rizwan Arshad and R B Thimmapur. There is a contest between Byrathi Suresh and Transport Minister H M Revanna for the ticket (B Form) to the Hebbal seat. Revanna unsuccessfully contested from the constituency in 2008.

Arshad, for instance, has told the party leadership that he is keen on contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the Bangalore Central constituency, where he lost in 2014. "But if the party wants to field me in the Assembly polls, I will contest," he said.

The Congress has 34 members in the 75-member Legislative Council. That there are over half-a-dozen members wanting to contest the Assembly polls could render the party's position precarious in the Upper House.