Asked whether those who contested previously would be given a ticket again, Limbavali said, "We don't know who will contest. Our sole target is to see BJP candidates winning".
BJP’s core committee in Karnataka on Friday directed its rank and file to gear up for bypolls in in 17 assembly segments, necessitated by the disqualification of the MLAs in July for ‘anti-party’ activities. “The BJP as a political party has started preparing for the election. If the elections happen, we will make sure that we win all the seats,” state BJP state general secretary and MLA Arvind Limbavali told reporters after the core committee meeting.
Asked whether those who contested previously would be given a ticket again, Limbavali said, “We don’t know who will contest. Our sole target is to see BJP candidates winning”. The bypolls were necessitated as 17 MLAs were disqualified in July for their anti-party activities. Sixteen of these legislators, comprising 13 from Congress and three from JD(S), had resigned en masse in July.
Another independent MLA who had joined Congress, extended his support to the BJP in his letter to the Governor Vaju Bhai Vala. Their resignations and subsequent disqualification brought down the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. This resulted in JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy resigning as chief minister, paving the way for BJP to form the government under the leadership of B S Yediyurappa.
For BJP, the victory in the bypoll would mean its stable government in the state. The party has 106 MLAs in the 224 member assembly, including the Speaker and the support of an independent MLA, whereas Congress and JD(S) have 66 and 34 MLAs respectively. Besides the bypolls, BJP will start preparations for four legislative council seats in the state, Limbavalli said.
The elections will take place in June, but the process was likely to start from October 1, he added. Ahead of elections, the core committee decided to further intensify the ongoing membership drive in the state. “In the previous drive, 87 lakh members were enrolled in Karnataka. In the latest drive we enrolled 28 lakh members. Our target is to take it to 50 lakh, which is going on,” Limbavali said.
The enrolment of active membership drive will be taken up from September 8, he said, adding that the party wanted to have at least two booth level active members and state-wide their number should be above one lakh. BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel will undertake a two day state-wide tour from September 8 to oversee the formation of regional committee of active members and later furnish a report on it, the MLA said.
Another issue discussed during the meeting was the party’s coordination with the government, especially to carry out relief work in flood-hit areas, Limbavalli said.