Karnataka polls: BJP releases first list; BSY’s son Vijayendra to contest; 50 fresh faces

Karnataka minister R Ashoka will contest against state Congress chief D K Shivakumar in Kanakapura while minister V Somanna will contest against former chief minister Siddaramaiah in Varuna

BJP, Karnataka polls, coastal Karnataka, Hindutva
Dropping the sitting MLAs who have built their vote bases at the last minute had sent a wrong message to their constituents. Representational pic

Amid drama, suspense and confusion, the BJP late Tuesday night (April 11) released its first list of candidates for the Assembly polls in Karnataka, covering 189 constituencies. Despite rebellion by many candidates, over 50 seats have been set aside for fresh faces.

A second list is expected soon.

Major candidates:

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (Shiggaon)

Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak)

BY Vijayendra (Shikaripura) 

R Ashok (Kanakapura), against Congress chief DK Shivakumar 

CT Ravi (Chikmagalur) 

V Somanna (Varuna), against ex-CM Siddaramaiah

Ashoka and Somanna will also contest one more seat each.

Also read: Karnataka’s electoral landscape is volatile, muddied, and unpredictable

Announcing the names, BJP’s Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh said 52 of the 189 candidates are new faces and eight women.

Thirty-two of the candidates belong to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 30 Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 16 Scheduled Tribes (STs).

Among the candidates named in the first list, nine are doctors, five advocates, three academicians, one retired IAS officer, one retired IPS officer, three retired government employees and eight social activists.

The party fielded Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai from his traditional Shiggaon constituency. BJP veteran and former CM B S Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra will contest from his father’s Shikaripura constituency.

BJP national general secretary CT Ravi will contest from his traditional Chikmagalur seat. Karnataka minister R Ashoka will contest against state Congress chief D K Shivakumar in Kanakapura and also fight from one more seat.

State minister V Somanna will contest against former chief minister Siddaramaiah in Varuna, and also fight from one more seat.

Shettar’s rebellion

Earlier, senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister KS Eshwarappa told the party’s central leadership that he wishes to retire from electoral politics and requested it to not consider fielding him in the Assembly polls, while former chief minister Jagadish Shettar said the party’s top brass told him to make way for others, but asserted he wants to contest one last time.

Regarding Eshwarappa opting out of the Assembly polls, Chief Minister Bommai said he had informed this to state leaders, including him, in private. “We were telling him that we need him because of his seniority and experience and out of love and affection towards him, but after discussions, he has decided and written a letter to the National President (J P Nadda). Already, a few of our senior leaders have spoken to him, during which he has insisted that his letter should be accepted. The national president will decide on it,” he said.

To a question on Shettar, Bommai said he had conveyed the former CM’s sentiments regarding contesting polls to the party leadership. “I have spoken to Jagadish Shettar, he is a senior leader. He said he wants to do more work in the constituency, some work is pending, and wants to get a respectful retirement, and asked for one more opportunity (to contest polls) to complete work. I have informed the leadership about his sentiments,” he said.

Also Read: Karnataka Assembly polls: Congress releases second list of 42 candidates

While the Congress has already announced a total of 166 candidates, including Karnataka Sarvodaya Party’s Darshan Puttannaiah for whom it has extended support in Melukote constituency, in two lists, JD(S) has announced one list of 93 candidates.

Voting will take place in a single phase across the state on May 10 and the results will be declared on May 13.

(With Agency reports)