Karnataka polls: Rebels, ticket aspirants have BJP on a sticky wicket

With a total of 224 seats in the Assembly, the party is yet to name contestants for 12 seats.

BJP, Karnataka polls, coastal Karnataka, Hindutva
Representational image.

The BJP continued to face heat and resorted to fire-fighting following the announcement of 212 candidates for the May 10 Karnataka Assembly polls in two lists, with disappointed aspirants raising a banner of revolt.

After a series of deliberations, the BJP on Tuesday (April 11) announced its first list of 189 candidates and a second list of 23 on Wednesday night. With a total of 224 seats in the Assembly, the party is yet to name contestants for 12 seats.

Also read: Karnataka polls: BJP releases 2nd list; no seat for Shettar

Mudigere BJP MLA MP Kumaraswamy and Haveri MLA Nehru Olekar on Thursday announced their resignation from the primary membership of the party, after they were denied tickets.

“Some aspirants and legislators have announced their resignation, and a few have resigned. We are speaking to workers and leaders and things will be resolved by and large. I’m speaking to seniors (who are disgruntled), also our high command will be speaking to them. I’m confident things will be resolved,” Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.

Also read: Karnataka polls: Stage set for BJP heavyweights vs top Congress leaders

Speaking to reporters in the coastal town of Mangaluru, he said things would be resolved but it will take some time.

In response to a question on senior leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi announcing that he was quitting the party, Bommai said, “… he will also have to safeguard the trust of the people of the constituency from whom he will be under pressure. So it will take some time, but it will be resolved.”

Also read: Karnataka polls: BJP releases first list

To a question about Savadi being in touch with Congress leaders, the CM said he was not aware of it but was confident that things would be fine. “There is an emotional bond, he (Savadi) might have said things out of anger.”

Stating that candidates had been selected based on “survey reports”, the Chief Minister said he would also speak to Mudigere MLA Kumaraswamy and try to ensure that he remained in the party.

Also read: Karnataka polls: 20 seats to watch out for

Veteran BJP leader and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said there was some disgruntlement among some party members in some places and certain statements had been made, and that he would speak to them personally.

“They should cooperate with the BJP. I’ve been speaking to them (disgruntled) since yesterday to ensure there is no confusion, and most probably, other than one or two cases, things will be resolved and I’m confident that they will cooperate,” he said.

Yediyurappa too said he would speak to Kumaraswamy. “The party has not deprived him of things. We have given him everything. It is easy to resign. He should stop his loose talk.”

In Haveri, Olekar, who was overlooked and replaced by Gavisiddappa Dyamannavar, has openly blamed Bommai for his not getting the ticket.

Olekar said he and his supporters had decided to resign from the primary membership of the party. “About 1,000 supporters are resigning with me. We will be sending it (resignation letter) to the district president. I have got calls from other parties, including JD(S). I will decide after speaking to my supporters and voters.”

Former MLA Sogadu Shivanna, who was an aspirant for the Tumakuru city ticket, too has resigned from the BJP, following the party’s decision to field GB Jyothi Ganesh instead of him.

He said his supporters and voters had asked him to contest the polls and that he would file his nomination before April 20.

On Wednesday, Savadi who was looking to be fielded from Athani announced his decision to resign from the primary membership of the party, while minister and six-time MLA S Angara from Sullia constituency in Dakshina Kannada district announced his retirement from politics, after failing to be renominated.

Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat, who was also overlooked by BJP, has said he was deeply pained by the treatment meted out to him by the party, and BJP MLC R Shankar, who was an aspirant for Ranebennur Assembly seat, resigned as legislator on Wednesday after the party ignored his request.

Hosadurga MLA Goolihatti Shekhar, who has also been denied a ticket has said he would contest as an independent or join former minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy’s newly formed Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha. “I will decide soon after consulting my supporters,” he said.