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State BJP’s second list creates rift in party

10:27 AM, Thursday, March 13th, 2014
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Shobha-KarandlajeBangalore: The State BJP has recommended to the party’s central election committee that former minister Shobha Karandlaje be fielded from the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency, former minister and MPCH Vijayashankar from Hassan and journalist PratapSimha from Mysore.

The State election committee, which met in Bangalore on Wednesday to finalise candidates for eight Lok Sabha constituencies, also recommended the candidature of former Pollution Control Board chairman B Shivalingaiah from Mandya and former legislator Bethamangala Narayanaswamy from Kolar. MLC Veeraiah too was aiming for the Kolar seat. The BJP has already announced candidates for 20 constituencies.

Party sources said it was at the instance of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa that the name of Karandlaje was finalised for Udupi-Chikmagalur. Chikmagalur MLA C T Ravi had strongly opposed her candidature. However, on Wednesday, he backed out. Karandlaje, a Vokkaliga, has some base in the constituency as she started her political career from Puttur, which comes under the Udupi-Chikmagalur segment.
Yeddyurappa had insisted that his loyalist and sitting MP G S Basavaraj be allowed to re-contest from Tumkur. A majority of the party leaders are against Basavaraj for his alleged anti-party activities. A final decision will be taken at the party’s central election committee meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. If winning ability was the only factor, then Yeddyurappa may succeed in getting Basavaraj the ticket.

The party has recommended journalist Pratap Simha for Mysore, though he had sought ticket from Udupi-Chikmagalur. Simha works with a Kannada daily in Bangalore and is known for his pro-Hindu stance. He is from Hassan. By fielding Simha, the party is planning to polarise the Vokkaliga and pro-Narendra Modi votes in the constituency.

Simha’s candidature from Mysore is likely to upset Vijayashankar, who had represented Mysore two times in Parliament. Vijayashankar was keen that he be allowed to contest from Mysore. Sources close to Vijayashankar said he was least interested in contesting from Hassan. However, the BJP thinks that Vijayashankar, being a Kuruba, would be able to garner his community’s votes. The Lingayats would stand by the BJP. These two factors may help in fighting Deve Gowda.

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