Karnataka Elections 2023: A day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its first list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today (April 12) held a high-level meeting with the party's top brass in New Delhi. The meeting was underway at Shah's residence where BJP chief JP Nadda, party general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh, national general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan were present.
According to sources, the meeting took place against the backdrop of displeasure by several Karnataka leaders after the first list of BJP candidates came out.Meanwhile, former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi resigned as a Legislative Council member and from the primary membership of the BJP after he was denied the Athani constituency ticket.
"I have made my decision. I am not the one who goes around with a begging bowl. I am a self-respecting politician. I am not acting under the influence of anyone," Savadi said. On the other hand, supporters of sitting BJP MLA from Belagavi North, Anil Benake staged a protest on Tuesday (April 11) after he was denied a ticket in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. Further, supporters of BJP MLA Mahadevappa Yadawad protested in Ramdurg constituency in Belagavi over the ticket being denied to him. Chikka Revana who joined the BJP recently got the ticket from the constituency.
According to BJP sources, former Karnataka Chief Minister and six-time BJP MLA Jagadish Shettar has started showing a rebellious attitude and has been called to Delhi. Shettar's name was excluded in the first list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls. Shettar said that he will meet the party's national president JP Nadda on Wednesday.
Addressing mediapersons in Bengaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said,"189 candidates' names have been declared. Consensus is there in almost all areas. Some people disagree (with the list) and a discussion will be done with them. I am in constant contact with them. I have spoken to Laxman Savadi (State Vice president) and asked him not to take any hasty decision,"BJP declared 189 candidates for Karnataka assembly polls as it sought to strike a balance in terms of representation of various castes and communities while putting up "strong candidates" against senior Congress leaders.
Apart from fresh faces, the BJP has also focused on "social engineering" in its first list of candidates, party sources said. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will recontest from the Shiggaon constituency.
List of 52 fresh faces:
Party sources said the list has 52 fresh faces and 21 sitting MLAs have been dropped. The polling will take place for 224 seats in the state assembly on May 10 and the counting of votes will take place on May 13.With the party seen to have strong support among Lingayats, it has decided to give tickets to 51 members from the community. The list includes 32 candidates from the OBC community, 30 belonging to the Scheduled Castes and 16 to Scheduled Tribes. The list has eight women candidates. It has former IAS and IPS officers, five advocates, nine doctors, three academicians, former government employees and social activists.
The list does not have any candidates from the Muslim community.Party sources said that candidates for the remaining 35 seats will be finalised by Wednesday afternoon.
Among the prominent candidates declared by the party, BY Vijayendra, son of former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yediyurappa, will contest from the Shikaripura seat. The BJP has fielded Manikanta Rathod, a 28-year-old youth against Priyank Kharge, son of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge from Chittapur.State Minister B Sriramulu will contest from Bellary Rural, State Health Minister Dr Sudhakar K from Chikkaballapur and State Minister Dr Ashwathnarayan CN from Malleshwaram seat. State Minister R Ashoka will contest from two seats- Padmanabhanagar and Kanakapura. He is pitted against Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar in Kanakapura.BJP general secretary CT Ravi will contest from Chikmagalur.V Somanna will contest against Congress leader Siddaramaiah from Varuna seat. V Somanna will also contest from Chamarajanagar seat.BJP said that the party has done an elaborate exercise of feedback before deciding the party candidates and expressed confidence in the party returning to power in the southern state.
Congress has already declared 166 candidates in two lists.
(With ANI inputs)ALSO READ: Karnataka elections: Jolt for BJP after ex-deputy CM Laxman Savadi quits party