The BJP has fielded Karunakar Reddy, one of the Reddy brothers – tainted mining barons- from Harapanahalli as it released its third list of 59 candidates today for the Karnataka assembly elections. The party had in its second list fielded another of three Reddy brothers, Somashekhara Reddy, from Ballari. Reddy brothers have been accused in the past of illegal mining.
Their political influence within the BJP seemed to have waned after the alleged scam erupted but it appears that they have made a comeback with the party rewarding them and their associates with tickets in a region they wield considerable influence. With announcement of 59 more candidates, the BJP has declared its nominees for 213 seats for the elections to the 224-member state assembly.
It has fielded Gopal Rao from Chamundeshwari, from where Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is contesting on a Congress ticket. The BJP also changed its candidate from Kolar Gold Field seat reserved for scheduled caste candidates. S Ashwini will now be its nominee from the seat, the party said said.
The BJP has so far not announced its candidate from Varuna, the current constituency of Siddaramaiah from where the Congress has fielded his son. B Y Vijayendra, son of its chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, is seen as the likely BJP candidate from there.