Under immense pressure from its cadre to revive its sagging image, the Bharatiya Janata Party is unlikely to give ticket to three MLAs — Y. Sampangi (Kolar Gold Fields-SC), Katta Subramanya Naidu (Hebbal) and S.N. Krishnaiah Setty (Malur) — who are facing serious charges to contest the Assembly elections.
According to sources, the party leadership has almost decided on keeping the them out of the poll contest. Mr. Naidu and Mr. Setty, who are also former Ministers, are facing inquiries on charges related to land scams, while Mr. Sampangi is involved in corruption charges. All the three have been jailed.
Though the three MLAs and their supporters argue that they are yet to be convicted (conviction has been stayed with respect to Mr. Sampangi), the party is said to be averse to giving them ticket as they are facing very serious charges with prima facie evidence. Earlier, the BJP was in a dilemma on whether to give them ticket as all the three wield political influence and appear to be winning candidates. But the categorical statement by BJP national president Rajnath Singh on Monday that the party will not allow those facing corruption charges with prima facie evidence to continue in their chairs has put the onus on the party State unit to walk the talk by taking a tough decision.
Interestingly, the debate on whether the party should keep out the tainted MLAs from contesting was triggered by the party’s own claims that its organisation has now become “clean” due to the exit of leaders like the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is up against corruption cases.
However, the party is yet to announce names of alternative candidates for the constituencies represented by the three MLAs.
Manifesto on Sunday
Meanwhile, the BJP is expected to release its poll manifesto on Sunday. The party’s key strategist Arun Jaitley is learnt to be giving the final touches to the manifesto along with various other leaders.