Many controversial leaders make it to BJP’s third list

Raghupathy Bhat

Former ministers G Karunakara Reddy, S A Ramdas and sons of three sitting legislators, figure among the 59 candidates announced by the BJP in its third list for the May 12 Assembly polls.

The BJP has so far announced candidates for 213 seats and is yet to declare its nominees for 11 more including Varuna, Badami and Yeshwanthpur in Bengaluru.

Karunakara Reddy is the second among Reddy brothers to be given a ticket and will be contesting from Harapanahalli in Davangere district, a constituency he once represented.

Karunakara Reddy, who held the Revenue portfolio in the previous BJP regime, had to step down in 2011 following his name figuring in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining. Karunakara’s younger brother G Somashekar Reddy has been given the ticket from Bellary City. Ramdas has been given the ticket to contest from Krishnaraja in Mysuru city. In 2014, a woman had lodged a complaint against Ramdas for ‘cheating’ her. Late he had attempted suicide.

Former legislator K Raghupathy Bhat has been given a ticket to contest from Udupi. Bhat courted controversy after his wife was found dead in mysterious circumstances in a New Delhi flat.

Former MLA M P Kumaraswamy, who has been given the ticket from Mudigere (SC) had assaulted his wife in public at the Legislators’ Home in Bengaluru in 2016.

The Karnataka State Women’s Commission had taken up a suo motu case against him. Kumaraswamy became violent after she accused him of having an affair with a
woman.

Children of three sitting legislators figure in the list. Govind Karjol’s son Gopal Karjol (Nagthan-SC), Ramachandra Gowda’s son Sapthagiri Gowda (Gandhinagar, Bengaluru) and V Somanna’s son Arun Somanna (Arsikere) have been given the tickets.

The party has fielded a new face, Gopal Rao, to take on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari. However, it has not announced the candidate for Badami, from where Siddaramaiah is expected to contest as his second seat. The BJP has also not announced the candidate for Varuna where Siddaramaiah’s son Dr Yathindra is contesting, though BJP state president’s son B Y Vijayendra has been campaigning extensively in the constituency.

Interestingly, the party is yet to announce the candidate for Yeshwanthpur. There was speculation that MP Shobha Karandlaje may be given the ticket.

Migrants also figure in the list. Five-time Congress MLA N Y Gopalakrishna has been given the ticket to contest from Kudligi (ST) in Ballari district. Gopalakrishna quit the Congress after he was denied renomination from Bellary Rural.

Other prominent names in the list include actor Saikumar (Bagepalli).

New faces have been given the ticket: Bharath Shetty (Mangaluru City North), Vedavyas Kamath (Mangaluru City South) and Santhosh Kumar Rai (Mangaluru).

Sitting MLA and former Speaker K G Bopaiah has been finally given the ticket from Virajpet. His name did not figure in the first two lists.

The party has made one change in its first list. Former MLA  Sampangi, who had been given the ticket to contest from the KGF has been replaced by his daughter S Ashwini.

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