BJP will likely release the first list of its candidates for the May 10 Karnataka Assembly polls on Tuesday (April 11), Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said during the day.
Party leaders have been holding a series of meetings in New Delhi for the past two days to finalise the list. State BJP strongman and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has indicated that the first list may contain the names of 170-180 candidates.
“The list can be expected today,” Bommai told reporters in New Delhi.
Wait for Shah’s return
According to party sources, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, upon his return to the national capital from a visit to Arunachal Pradesh, will hold a meeting with Bommai and other senior leaders to finalise the list, following which it will be released.
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Senior party leaders held a daylong deliberation on Monday to finalise the candidates for the state Assembly polls, incorporating in their discussions the suggestions made at the recent BJP Central Election Committee meeting.
Shah, party president JP Nadda, Bommai, Yediyurappa, and other state leaders attended these meetings. Shah later left for Arunachal Pradesh while the other leaders continued the deliberations.
Unhappy high command
Bommai had said on Sunday after the CEC meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given some directions. The Karnataka CM told reporters on Monday that the party was working on various inputs. However, he did not elaborate on the nature of directions or inputs.
There are speculations that the high command is unhappy with some leaders or legislators seeking tickets for their children, too. Also, some sitting legislators and ministers may not make it to the list. Too many aspirants is also said to be a cause for concern.
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BJP targets 150 seats
The filing of nominations will begin on April 13, with the poll notification being issued, and the last day for filing papers is April 20.
The BJP, aiming to return to power in Karnataka with absolute majority, has set a target of winning at least 150 of the total 224 seats in the Assembly.
While the Congress has already announced 166 candidates (in two lists), including Karnataka Sarvodaya Party’s Darshan Puttannaiah, for whom it has extended support in Melukote constituency, JD(S) has announced one list of 93 candidates.
(With agency inputs)