News18 has learnt that BJP top brass has asked former chief minister BS Yediyurappa to handle the rebels.
Meanwhile, the poll process officially kicked off on Thursday with the issuance of gazette notification paving the way for candidates to file their nomination papers. According to the Election Commission’s (EC) schedule of events, the last date for filing nominations is April 20, after which the papers will be scrutinized on April 21. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 24.
BJP’s second list of 23 candidates for the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka denied tickets to seven sitting MLAs, including Madal Virupakshappa who was recently arrested on corruption charges.
The list came on a day the party saw one big resignation over ticket issue and protests by supporters of several leaders who missed the bus. In a big jolt, former deputy CM Laxman Savadi announced he is quitting the party after being dropped from the first list of candidates.
On the other hand, supporters of BJP MLAs Mahadevappa Yadawad and Anil Benake were seen on Tuesday night protesting over tickets being denied to the leaders. While Chikka Revana, who joined the BJP, has got the ticket from the Yadawad’s constituency Ramdurg, Dr Ravi Patil has been fielded from Belagavi North, which is Anil Benake’s constituency.
The latest list of BJP does not include Hubli-Dharwad Central segment, from where party veteran and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar wants to contest. It also does not include candidate for the Shivamogga city segment, where sitting MLA and former minister KS Eshwarappa has announced his retirement from electoral politics.
Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar met party president JP Nadda on Wednesday and conveyed his wish to contest poll, after openly expressing his unhappiness over reports that he may be denied the ticket.
After meeting Nadda, Shettar said that he cited his experience, including his six consecutive wins in assembly polls, and was told by the party president that the issue will be discussed with other senior leaders.
BJP now may field the veteran leader from the Lingayat community after initially toying with the idea to drop him as part of its plans to make way for a younger leadership.
Amid the protests, CM Bommai said on Wednesday that the party spoke to those being replaced, adding that they were given reasons and were told about the opportunity they will be getting later.
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