Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to field the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is set to take membership of the party formally on January 9, from Shimoga Lok Sabha Constituency.
According to sources in the BJP, the party is in favour of Mr. Yeddyurappa contesting in Shimoga and the latter is keen to oblige the party. Now, the seat is represented by Mr. Yeddyurappa’s son, B.Y. Raghavendra, a first-time MP, while the former Chief Minister represents Shikaripur in the Legislative Assembly.
“The move to field Mr. Yeddyurappa in the Lok Sabha polls is in tune with our efforts to win as many seats as possible from the State,” the sources said.
Interestingly, Mr. Yeddyurappa has commenced preliminary preparations for the polls as he is attending various programmes being held in the areas coming under the jurisdiction of the Lok Sabha constituency.
The leaders of the BJP Shimoga district unit, who fought him when he quit the party and contested the Assembly elections on the Karnataka Janata Paksha ticket, too are hinting through their public statements that they prefer his candidature.
According to sources, the BJP has decided to clear the names of candidates for about 20 Lok Sabha constituencies, of the 28 in the State, in the first list that is expected to be announced some time in the third or fourth week of this month. Mr. Yeddyurappa’s name would be in this first list, the sources said.
Even as the debate continues on how much the party would benefit by the re-entry of Mr. Yeddyurappa, a prominent BJP leader said: “the party’s strategists are hoping that he will be able to get about five per cent of the additional votes to the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls considering that his KJP had registered a 10-per cent vote share in the Assembly polls.”