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By not giving tickets to Christians or Muslims, the BJP seems to be repeating its Uttar Pradesh strategy. Like UP, Karnataka has a numerically-significant Muslim population, but the BJP has not deemed it fit to name a single candidate from the community so far. The party had faced flak in UP too, but defended its stance, by saying that it must look at winnability. “I want to make an appeal to all Muslim brothers and sisters that they should join us. We will not allow hatred to prosper,” Rajnath Singh had said.
Another Reddy clan member Sanna Fakerappa has also got a ticket. The BJP has not named any Christian or Muslim as a candidate so far.
Earlier, there was speculation that Somashekar may not get a ticket as BJP wants to stay away from those with a tainted past. Somashekar had placed all his trust in the statement of State BJP president BS Yeddyurappa during his Parivartan Yatra asking people to ensure his victory with a huge margin. He had already undertaken rigorous door-to-door campaign in the city.
Somashekar Reddy, the elder brother of mining baron G Janardhan Reddy, faces the charge of trying to bribe a Judge of a Special CBI Court to get bail for Janardhan Reddy. Somashekar, it may be mentioned here, won from the Ballari (city) constituency in the 2008 elections with a slender margin of 1,022 votes against Congress candidate Anil Lad. He did not contest the 2013 elections.
The second BJP list has an unmissable Yeddyurappa stamp, with several of his loyalists getting tickets. There are also several with tainted pasts in the BJP list. Among those is elder Reddy brother, G Somashekar Reddy, who will contest from Bellary city. Another tainted member is Katta Subramanya Naidu who was sent to jail after he and son were caught red handed by Lokayukta. He will contest from Shivajinagar. Krishnaiah Shetty who went to jail with BSY in Denotification scam has got a ticket from Malur. MP Renukacharya of sleaze gate past has got a ticket from Honnali.
The BJP, however, has still not announced who will face off against CM Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari or his son in Varuna constituency. The BJP had earlier announced candidates for 72 seats and a final list is still awaited.
BJP releases second list of 82 candidates for Karnataka Assembly polls, a day after Congress released its list of 218 candidates.
The dissident Congress workers in Karntaka’s Mandya, Chikmaglur, Bengaluru and Bellary vandalised Congress offices for denying ticket to Ravikumar. Congress has given ticket to sitting MLA, actor Ambarish from Mandya. Ravikumar, who was also ticket aspirant, did not get the ticket. The supporters of Ravikumar went on street in Mandya condemning the move. They attacked Congress office and smashed the chairs and doors. They demanded to change the list and give ticket to Ravikumar from Mandya.
Welcoming Owaisi’s support, JDS’ Kumaraswamy said, “Owaisi gave a befitting replying to Congress leaders who have been making allegations against JDS.” The JDS state chief was mentioning Owaisi’s statement where he said that both Congress and BJP have failed and have nothing to offer to Karnataka. Kumaraswamy further said, “It is possible that Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, who met us last week, may have persuaded Owaisi to support us.”
Congress leader and ex MLA, Prasannakumar, likely to join JDS. He is from Bengaluru city. KPCC vice president V R Sudarshan is upset over not getting party ticket from Kolar. He may join BJP.
A few MLAs, who did not get ticket, are meeting Mallikarjun Kharge. The former railways minister is reportedly upset that Siddaramaiah has got lion’s share. Meanwhile, power minister D K Shivakumar says JDS and BJP have an agreement to defeat Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari and the pact was sealed three months ago.
The income tax department raided the residence of Congress MLA B Shivanna at the behest of Election Commission. Income tax officials said that since EC does not have powers to enter candidates’ homes, the Commisson alerted IT that considerable cash was stashed at Shivanna’s home. The IT officials then raided Shivanna’s home at 5.30 am. They completed the raid at 9.30 am, but did not recover anything.
In the last three months, the Karnataka government was asked to spend as much as Rs 56 crore to glorify the achievements of chief minister Siddaramaiah ahead of state assembly elections. An RTI reply shows that the government used hoardings of its Department of Information and Publicity and other billboards on buses and auto-rickshaws, metro rail pillars, bus shelters of the BBMP, LED mobile vans and LED hoardings. Besides, video ads put out on social media, websites and TV channels are accounted for separately.
MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said that he spoke to JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy and has decided that he will support former PM HD Deve Gowda’s party. “It is in the interest of Karnataka and the nation that he (Kumaraswamy) becomes the CM. Congress is not powerful enough to stop BJP,” he said. According to JDS sources, Owaisi had even approached Deve Gowda earlier for seat sharing arrangements, which was turned down by the former Prime Minister.
Contrary to expectations, Siddaramaiah has only kept one seat for himself. There were rumors that he wanted to play it safe and contest from two seats. The Karnataka CM will now contest from only Chamundeshwari Assembly seat
People of north Karnataka had requested me to contest from Badami. I am grateful for their love & affection, but I have decided to contest only from Chamundeshwari
Congratulations to candidates nominated to contest the Elections on a Congress ticket.
Let us bring Congress back!
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) April 16, 2018
Congress ticket aspirant Anajanmurthy’s followers stage a protest near Nelmangala after he was denied ticket. The protesters burn tyres on the highway. Meanwhile, another aspirant, Kalappa, has retweeted a post which says he should have been given ticket. The is believed to be upset with the Congress leadership.
With an eye on Karnataka Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a five-day visit to Sweden and United Kindgom, will pay tributes at the statue of 12th-century Lingayat philosopher, Basaveshwara, on the banks of River Thames. He will also take part in the 885th Basava Utsava in London. Neeraj Patil, a former mayor of Lambeth Borough in London has confirmed PM’s participation on April 18. Political experts say that the move will have political significance in light of the ongoing Lingayat issue.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to tour Karnataka on April 26, 27 and from May 3 to 10. The rally on May 10 will be organised on a large scale in Belgaum. Gandhi has completed six rounds of campaigning in the state with the last one on April 7 and 8. Polling will be held in Karnataka on May 12.
The BJP’s central election committee (CEC), which comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah, met today to finalise the party’s candidates for the May 12 Karnataka assembly polls. The BJP had declared its first list of 72 candidates on April 8. The party’s top brass is believed to have discussed probables for the remainder seats in the 224-member assembly. Sources said names of more BJP candidates are likely to be announced in a day or two. The BJP is seeking to come back to power in the state, dislodging the Congress. H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S) is the third major player in the contest. The results of the election will be declared on May 15.
NA Haris, the MLA from Shanthinagar, has rushed to meet CM Siddaramaiah after his name was not featured in the list of 2018 candidates. The Congress will announce the names for 5 constituencies later. His son Mohammed Haris Nalapad brutal assault of a man at a prominent Bengaluru café seems to have cost him dear. Party insiders said that Congress is worried that even if Haris is able to win his seat, they may lose out on four or five other seats in Bengaluru purely because of the reputation he has acquired.
Former excise minister HY Meti, who was embroiled in a sex scandal that had cost him a cabinet berth, has got a ticket from Bagalkote. Party top brass says that winnability is the only criteria. A CD of the former minister had surfaced in the media in December 2016, in which he was allegedly seen having sex with a woman. Meti had quit after the local media went to town with the CD allegedly featuring him and a government employee, Vijayalakshmi. The woman had initially accused Meti of seeking sexual favours from her for a transfer and for her contract to be made permanent. Meti was given a clean chit by the CID last year.
CM Siddaramaiah seems to have an upper hand in the list as many of his supporters have gotten seats. In Hyderabad-Karnataka region, Mallikarjun Kharge has got seats for some of his people. The party has given seats to about 40 Lingayats and around 23 Vokkaligas. OBCs have been given roughly 50 seats while Brahmins have got 5. Smaller upper castes like Vaishyas, Bunts, Kodavas etc have got 1-3 seats each.
The Congress has also not announced any candidate from Melukote yet. There is a possibility that the party will support Swaraj India candidate Darshan Puttanaiah, the son of farmer activist Puttanaiah, who had died two months ago. Bengaluru mayor Sampath Raj will contest from CV Raman Nagar constituency.
Of the five constituencies from where Congress has not yet announced candidates for is Shanthinagar, the seat of NA Haris, who got embroiled in a controversy after his son Mohammed Haris Nalapad brutally assaulted a man at a prominent Bengaluru café. Party insiders said that Congress is sure of a victory here as it is a minority dominated constituency. However, they are worried that even if Haris is able to win this seat, they may lose out on four or five other seats in Bengaluru purely because of the reputation. So, not giving a ticket to Haris may help in other city segments. With 28 seats, Bangalore Urban is the single biggest chunk and is crucial for Congress.
Among the battles that will be keenly watched will be between former Mayor Padmavathi, who will contest against BJP veteran Suresh Kumar. Congress had always fielded Manjula Naidu against him till now and lost every time. Padmavathi is a loyalist of DK Shivakumar and had got a good reputation as a Mayor. Her term had ended in mid-2017.
Siddaramaiah’s son Yatheendra has got a ticket from Varuna constituency while home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Soumya has got a ticket from Jayanagar.
Contrary to expectation that Siddaramaiah will play safe and contest from two seats, he will only contest from Chamundeswari, at least if the first list is anything to go by. The Congress is yet to release names for five seats. Speculation was rife that Siddaramaiah is likely to keep a safe seat in north Karnataka region as a back-up after being convinced by his well-wishers about the dangers of relying only on the Chamundeshwari seat in view of a “deal” between JDS and the BJP there.