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Karnataka election: BJP names 82 candidates in 2nd list; Owaisi backs JD(S)

Will Siddaramaiah be able to maintain his bastion or will Modi magic work again in Karnataka elections? The results will be known on May 15

BJP President Amit Shah, state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa along other state leaders during Parivartan Yatra, in Chitradurga near Bengaluru. Photo: PTI
BJP President Amit Shah, state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa. Photo: PTI

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced 82 candidates who will be contesting the high stakes, high decibel Karnataka elections. The list includes the elder brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy and son of late chief minister S Bangarappa, for the Karnataka Assembly polls. In the second list released today, the BJP has fielded Reddy's elder brother G Somashekar Reddy from Bellary City while Kumar Bangarappa will contest from Sorab. G Janardhan Reddy is an accused in illegal mining case. Krishnaiah Setty, an old associate of Yeddyurappa, has been fielded from Malur. The BJP on April 8 had declared its first list of 72 nominees that included its chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, and senior leaders K S Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar.

The Congress released it's list of candidates on Sunday, following which, rebellion erupted in many constituencies as sitting MLAs and strong aspirants vented their ire on being denied a ticket. Supporters of Gayathri Shantegowda staged a protest at Azad Park in Chikmagalur and set tyres on fire as their leader was overlooked. They shouted slogans against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. In Belagavi, supporters of MLA DB Inamdar staged rasta-roko and burnt tyres, even before the list was announced.

The Congress has fielded Siddaramaiah's son Yatheendra from Varuna, currently held by the chief minister who has shifted to Chamundeshwari. The BJP has not announced its candidate against the chief minister. The BJP was reduced to 40 seats in the last assembly polls in 2013, in which, the Congress had won 122 seats. JD(S) led by Deve Gowda had also won 40 seats. He is contesting from Shikaripura in the upcoming polls.

Karnataka will go to the polls on May 12. The last date for filing the nominations for the 224 constituencies is April 24, while April 27 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature. Will Siddaramaiah be able to maintain his bastion or will Modi magic work again? The results will be known on May 15.

Top 10 developments on BJP and Congress candidates' list for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections:

1. Owaisi's AIMIM to back JD(S): On Monday, the JD (S) received a shot in the arm with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi stating that his party will support Deve Gowda-led party in the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections. The party president Asaduddin Owaisi said it has decided to support the JD(S) after "due consideration and consultations". Earlier, the party hinted at fielding its own candidates in the polls. "All our efforts and endeavour would be to ensure that the JDS gets maximum number of seats. (HD) Kumaraswamy should become the chief minister and the party led by Deve Gowda should be ruling Karnataka," Owaisi said. According to Owaisi, his party feels that both the national parties, the BJP and Congress, have failed to live up to the expectations and hope of the people of Karnataka and that's why they have decided to support the JD(S) completely.

"We will not be putting up our candidates," Owaisi said, adding that he has already spoken to Kumaraswamy and assured him about his party's support to the JD(S).

2. Rahul Gandhi warned not to attack Gowda: The JD (S) is hoping Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be more “measured” in his criticism of the Gowda clan in the weeks to come. “Rahul Gandhi is now the Congress president. He has a major responsibility to take the opposition together. He shouldn’t fall in the trap of local Congress leaders, who have their own personal agendas,” Ali, who is close to Deve Gowda, told Business Standard.


3. BJP releases second list of 82 candidates for Karnataka polls: The BJP on Monday announced its candidates for 82 more seats for the Karnataka Assembly polls, taking to 154 the number of constituencies for which it has declared its nominees. The BJP on April 8 had declared its first list of 72 nominees that included its chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, and senior leaders K S Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar. The BJP is making an all-out bid to oust the Congress from power in the southern state.

ALSO READ: Cabinet reshuffle in the offing after Karnataka assembly elections

4. Angry over ticket distribution, Congress workers vandalise party office: Disgruntled with the party high command's first list of candidates in the upcoming Assembly 

Elections in Karnataka, Congress party workers took to streets on Monday to express their anger. Media visuals showed party workers chanting anti-Siddaramaiah slogans, burning tyres, effigies etc on the streets. Things turned little uglier in Mandya where angry Congress workers vandalised the party's district offices. Similar protests were held in Chikmagulur were party workers broke chairs.

5. BJP says, Congress continuing legacy to give tickets to family members: BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Monday slammed the Congress on continuing its "legacy" of giving electoral tickets to family members and not inducting a new face ahead of the crucial elections in Karnataka next month.

Gowda said, "Congress has a legacy of family members getting tickets. Never ever a new face is promoted. So the same continues in Karnataka. They are continuing to give tickets to successions of the same family, persons who were earlier legislators or parliamentarians."

6. Congress sets up cell to quell revolt in poll-bound Karnataka: Karnataka's ruling Congress on Monday set up a special cell to quell the revolt brewing in the party from a dozen sitting legislators and scores of aspirants whose names did not figure in the 218 candidates declared to contest the May 12 assembly elections.

"We have set up cell headed by state unit President G. Parameshwara to pacify the members and aspirants who could not be selected to contest in the assembly poll for multiple reasons," party's state Vice President K.E. Radhakrishna said.

Admitting that the party was facing rebellion in at least six constituencies from sitting legislators and ticket aspirants, he said the cell would soon meet them and explain why they could not be selected to contest this time.

"Once we finalise names for the remaining 5-6 constituencies in the next 2-3 days, we will call all those who could not make it to the list as there have been many aspirants for every assembly segment," Radhakrishna said.

7. Exceptions to the one family, one ticket rule: Karnataka Home Minister R Ramalinga Reddy will contest from BTM Layout, while his daughter Sowmya Reddy will contest from Jayanagar. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister TB Jayachandra is contesting from Sira in Tumkur and his son Santosh Jayachandran will be contesting from Chikanayakanahalli. Housing Minister M Krishnappa has been given ticket from Govindrajnagar and his son Priya Krishna will contest from Vijayanagar.

8. 15 women, 14 Muslims get Congress tickets: Out of the 224 constituencies, 173 are reserved for the general category, 36 for the Scheduled Caste (SC) and 15 for the Scheduled Tribe (ST). Congress party has fielded 15 women, 14 Muslims, three Christians and two Jains in Karnataka poll fray. In 2013 Assembly Elections, there were only 10 women contesting the polls.

9. GB Malathesh to take on Yeddyurappa in Shikaripura: Congress party has fielded G B Malathesh against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa from Shikaripura.

10) Lingayats in focus: Maintaining its past record, Congress party has given the major chunk of the tickets to Lingayat community. They have the power to decide the fate of candidates in as many as 100 seats.