Candidates expected to be finalised by Monday

The Bharatiya Janata Party has entrusted the responsibility of choosing candidates for the byelection to the two Lok Sabha seats to a three-member team comprising D.V. Sadananda Gowda, R. Ashok and C.T. Ravi. Of course, the decision on candidates will have to be formalised by the party’s State election committee.

“The decision on choosing the candidates has been entrusted to these three leaders as the number of seats going to elections is only two,” a source said. Interestingly, all these three leaders belong to the Vokkaliga community, which has a dominant presence in these two constituencies — Mandya and Bangalore Rural.

Enthusiasm lacking

Like in the other two major parties — Congress and Janata Dal (S), there is not much enthusiasm among BJP leaders to contest these byelections as they would get a very short term as MPs if elected.

The potential candidates, whom the BJP is approaching, are said to be insisting that the party assure them of fielding them again in the general elections irrespective of the results of the bypolls. What has complicated things for the BJP is that the party organisation is not strong in these two constituencies. But it cannot afford to ignore these byelections as the results are expected to set a trend for the general elections.

“Several MLAs, especially former Ministers from the party are eying the next general elections. But they are not willing to contest the byelections,” said a prominent leader. Though several members at the Thursday’s meeting of prominent leaders from the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency felt that it would be better to persuade Mr. Ashok himself to contest from this seat, the former Deputy Chief Minister is learnt to have made it clear that he is not willing to contest.

As of now, the party is considering the candidature of the former MP M. Srinivas and the former MLA Hemachandra Sagar for the Bangalore Rural seat. Similarly, party leaders are said to be in talks with the former Speaker Krishna, who quit the Janata Dal (S) just before the recent Assembly elections, to woo him into the party fold and field him as the candidate from Mandya.

“We will finalise the names of candidates for both the seats by Monday when the State election committee will meet,” the source said.

Potential candidates want to be assured of party ticket for the LS general polls also