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After Suspense, Series of Meetings and Much Delay, BJP Plays It Safe


Last Updated: April 12, 2023, 09:41 IST

Party stalwart BS Yediyurappa has already bowed out of contest, declaring his retirement. His son BY Vijayendra has been given ticket from his seat Shikaripura. (Twitter File Photo)

Party stalwart BS Yediyurappa has already bowed out of contest, declaring his retirement. His son BY Vijayendra has been given ticket from his seat Shikaripura. (Twitter File Photo)

BJP cadre and leaders were expecting a list full of surprises and new names. But the list has turned out to be a big hype with some cosmetic changes. Even though the party boasts of fielding 52 new faces, most are from Congress and JDS stronghold of Old Mysore, where the BJP is a third player

After days of suspense and a series of meetings, the BJP high command in consultation with RSS has released its first list of 189 candidates on Tuesday night. Though the list has several new names, the BJP has not made any big change in its strongholds and repeated most sitting MLAs in North, Central, Bengaluru City and parts of Coastal Karnataka.

In the first list, it has denied tickets to just nine sitting MLAs. Party veterans KS Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar have been told to bow out of the electoral politics. Party stalwart BS Yediyurappa has already bowed out of contest, declaring his retirement. His son BY Vijayendra has been given ticket from his seat Shikaripura.

Two big takeaways are fielding revenue minister R Ashoka in Kanakapura to take on KPCC president DK Shivakumar and housing minister V Somanna in Varuna to face Siddaramaiah. BJP has played it safe by allowing Somanna to contest also from Chamarajanagar and Ashoka from his own constituency Padmanabhanagara in Bengaluru. By doing this bjp has indirectly admitted that it has no big names to take on two top Congress leaders in Karnataka.

The party cadre and leaders were expecting a list full of surprises and new names. But the list has turned out to be a big hype with some cosmetic changes here and there. Even though the party boasts of fielding 52 new faces, most are from Congress and JDS stronghold of Old Mysore region, where the BJP is a third player.

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.

The list has no big faces against the JDS candidates in the Gowda heartland. Even in the party stronghold of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, BJP has denied ticket to just five sitting MLAs in Kundapura, Udupi, Kapu, Puttur and Sullia.

Yediyurappa has managed to secure tickets for many of his loyalist MLAs. In a highly caste-ridden state, the BJP seems to have decided to keep castes and sub-castes in mind before deciding the candidates. Lot of importance has been given to these two factors. The party, ideology and narratives have taken a backseat.

Describing it as a powerful list Union minister Shobha Karandlaje has expressed confidence that BJP will return to power. But the main opposition Congress has termed it as much ado about nothing calling it a status quo list.

The BJP is yet to announce candidates for the 35 remaining seats and some of them are tricky or risky seats or both. The Congress has already declared candidates for 166 seats and their final list for the remaining 58 seats is expected anytime.

The JDS has so far declared candidates for 93 seats. The nomination process begins on April 13 and ends on April 20.

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