Karnataka BJP List Out; Party Plays It Safe; 52 Fresh Names, 8 Women In Fray

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Karnataka BJP List Out; Party Plays It Safe; 52 Fresh Names, 8 Women In Fray

| Updated: April 12, 2023 15:08

After days of political hobnobbing and power-balancing acts, the BJP finally announced the first list of 189 candidates for the Karnataka Assembly election. Several MLAs have been dropped and Congress turncoats chosen in the first list. A second list will come soon, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.

The BJP’s election committee met in Delhi over the weekend to finalise the names. Karnataka has 224 Assembly seats and the state goes to polls on May 10. Results will be announced on May 13. 

BJP MLA and Revenue Minister R Ashok will contest from his home seat Padmanabhanagar, and Kanakapura too, where he will face the state Congress chief DK Shivakumar.

MLA and Housing Minister V Somanna has been pitted against Congress leader and former CM Siddaramaiah in Varuna. Somanna will also contest from a second seat, Chamarajnagar. He has always contested from Govindaraja Nagar constituency in Bengaluru. This would be the first time he is contesting in two seats – both considered Congress bastions.

On the other hand, CM Bommai will contest from Shiggaon constituency, his current seat.

BY Vijayendra, the son of former Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yediyurappa, will contest from Shikaripura seat, the same constituency which has voted his father to power seven consecutive times, since 1983. BSY, a party stalwart and veteran, has already bowed out of contest, declaring his retirement. 

State minister B Sriramulu will contest from Bellary Rural.

In Udupi, a key costal town, anti-Hijab campaigner Yashpal Suvarna will contest for the first time in place of the current MLA Raghupathi Bhat. He is seen as a rising star among his local supporters. His claim to fame also includes activism as a gau rakshak.

Other key BJP leaders Ramesh Jarkiholi and Govind M Karjol will contest from Gokak and Mudhol, respectively. BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi will contest from Chikkamagaluru.

The first list has denied tickets to nine sitting MLAs. Party veterans KS Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar have been told to bow out of the electoral politics. Even as the BJP made noise about fielding 52 new faces, most are concentrated in the Old Mysore region, where the BJP is a third player, after Congress and JD(S).

In Bengaluru city with 28 seats in the BBMP limits and four seats on the outskirts, BJP has played it safe by not making major changes. Almost all sitting MLAs have been repeated. The name of Aravind Limbavali from Mahadevapura reserved seat does not figure in the first list. Former police commissioner of Bengaluru Bhaskar Rao, who has recently joined the party from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has got the ticket from Chamarajpet. Party veteran S Suresh Kumar has managed to secure renomination from Rajajinagara.

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