Party announces candidates for 140 segments

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday released its first list of candidates comprising 140 names for the ensuing Karnataka Assembly elections.

The list that was released in New Delhi by the Party’s Central Election Committee has the names of most of the sitting MLAs.

As the debate is raging on whether the party should keep out tainted MLAs from poll contest or merely go by the “winnability” factor without bothering about their antecedents, the first list does not have the names of “tainted” MLAs such as Katta Subramanya Naidu, S.N. Krishnaiah Setty and Y. Sampangi who are facing inquiries with respect to various charges besides being lodged in jail for some time during their arrest.

Similarly, the party has kept out its controversial MLA from Udupi Raghupathi Bhat, who has been figuring in some or other scandal, and fielded its local unit office-bearer Sudhakar Shetty. However, the names of all the three former Ministers involved in the episode of watching a porn video clip on a mobile phone in the Assembly have figured in the first list.

The list has four women candidates — Seema Masuthi (Dharwad), Shashikala Jolle (Nippani), Sowbhagya Mahadevaiah (Malavalli) and Sumithradevi (Madhugiri).

Even as the Bellary Reddy brothers have severed links with the BJP after the formation of the BSR Congress, the BJP has given ticket to the eldest among the Reddy siblings and former Minister G. Karunakara Reddy to contest from Harapanahalli.

While Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar will contest from Hubli-Dharwad Central, Deputy Chief Ministers K.S. Eshwarappa and R. Ashok are seeking re-election from Shimoga and Padmanabhanagar respectively.

In Bangalore that has a total of 28 assembly seats including Anekal, the list contains the names of candidates only for 15 seats. The next list is expected to cover the remaining seats.

Communitywise break-up shows that the list has 39 Lingayats, 18 candidates from Backward Communities, 14 from forward communities, 29 from Scheduled Castes and 8 from Scheduled Tribes besides 32 from communities such as Vokkaliga, Kodava, Bunts and Reddy.

Another highlight of the list is that Industries Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha leader B.S. Yeddyurappa’s close aide Murugesh Nirani has been given ticket to contest from his original constituency of Bilagi though he was trying to shift his political base to Jamkhandi.

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