Karnataka Assembly election: BJP retains incumbents in first list of 72, Yeddyurappa to contest from Shikaripura

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Bengaluru | Updated: April 9, 2018 10:32:50 AM

Karnataka will go to polls in a single phase on May 12. Of the 224 assembly seats, 173 are general, 36 reserved for SCs and 15 for STs. Counting of votes will be held on May 15.

BJP, Congress, BJP first list, Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah, Karnataka pollsKarnataka Assembly election: Yeddyurappa, Sreeramulu on BJP’s first list of 72 candidates; Rahul says elections between ‘Karnataka and Nagpur’

The Bharatiya Janata Party has released its first list of 72 candidates for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. On Sunday, the Central Election Committee of the BJP released the first list of candidates while Congress president Rahul Gandhi took the ‘ideological fight’ to new heights terming the state electoral battle as one between ‘Karnataka and Nagpur’, a reference made to the RSS.

The battle between opposition BJP and the ruling Congress is turning bitter as polling dates approach. While the Siddaramaiah government is busy listing out its achievements and attacking the BJP-led dispensation at Delhi, the opposition BJP in the state has targetted the government over issues like corruption and indulging in appeasement.

The BJP’s list includes many of the party’s incumbent 48 MLAs from the state’s northern, central and southern regions, including capital Bengaluru. Prominent names that are included in the list are party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, B Sreeramulu, KS Eshwarappa, Jagadish Shettar, Basavaraj Bommai, CM Udasi, KV Hegde and Sriramulu. Only three women figured in the list, they are Sashikala, Roopali Naik and Poornima Srinivas.

Yeddyurappa will enter the fray from his home constituency Shikaripura in Shimoga district. Currently, BSY is a Lok Sabha MP and he represents the Shimoga seat. The Shikaripura Assembly seat is currently held by BSY’s son BY Raghvendra.

The second MP to figure in the list is Sreeramulu. He is a Lok Sabha MP from Bellary. He will contest from Mokalmuru seat which is reserved for STs. Sreeramulu is considered a close confidante of Bellary brothers.

The BJP had in 2013 won just 44 seats. But the Karnataka Janata Party which was floated by Yeddyurappa and Sreeramulu in December 2012 had merged with the BJP taking the number to 48. The duo had floated their own own party following the indictment of Yedyurappa, the then CM, by the Lokayukta in the multi-crore mining scam.

Shettar, who had served as the CM of Karnataka between 2012 and 2013, will contest from Hubli-Dharwad Central. He is also the Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly. KS Eshwarappa will enter the fray from Shivamogga. He is the Leader of Opposition in the current Legislative Assembly. He had served as the Deputy CM between July 2012 and May 2013 in the Shettar government.

The party has fielded Bommai from Shiggaon, Udasi from Hangal, Hegde from Sirsi and B Sriramulu from Molakalmuru (Reserved). Sashikala is re-contesting from her Nippani seat. Roopali will contest from Karwar and Srinivas from Hiriyur. Roopali is a former corporator from Bengaluru and Srinivas is the secretary of the party’s women wing.

The list also has the names of defectors who recently joined the BJP from the Congress and JD(S). The names that have figured in the list are Malikaiah Guttedar from Afzalpur and Subhash Guttedar from Aland, Mallikarjun Khuba from Basavakalyan, BS Yatnal from Bijapur city and CP Yogishwar from Channapatna.

Menawhile, Rahul was once again in the southern state on Sunday to garner support in favour of the party candidates. This was his sixth visit to the state in last two months. Speaking to reporters here, Rahul called the Assembly polls a fight of ideology between Karnataka (Congress) and Nagpur (RSS). He said that Karnataka people do not need Nagpur and people like Mohan Bhagwat who “wear shorts and wield a lathi”.

He also said that besides Karnataka, the Congress will win the upcoming assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, setting a new ground for the general elections. In run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha, he said that the opposition parties should come together by burying the difference to make the BJP face defeat.

Karnataka will go to polls in a single phase on May 12. Of the 224 assembly seats, 173 are general, 36 reserved for SCs and 15 for STs. Counting of votes will be held on May 15.

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