Special Correspondent

New Delhi/Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday claimed that he had not influenced the State candidate selection committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party to propose the name of his elder son B.Y. Raghavendra to contest from the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency.

Stating that the party Central leadership had cleared the name of Mr. Raghavendra, he told presspersons in New Delhi that the MLAs of the district, party functionaries and the general public wanted him (his son) to be given the ticket for the Shimoga seat, and he had no role to play in his selection.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said this was not the first time that family members had been given the party ticket and this had even happened in the family of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and H.D. Deve Gowda. He also denied that there was discontent in the BJP on the allocation of seats. “Winning chances of the individual” was the criterion, he said.

List released

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday released the second list of eleven candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. In the first list, the party had released the names of nine candidates. Of the 11 candidates, three of them crossed over to the BJP from other parties in recent weeks. The candidate for Chikkodi is Ramesh Katti, a brother of the Minister for Horticulture Umesh Katti, who himself had crossed over to the BJP from the Janata Dal (Secular) soon after the B.S. Yeddyurappa government was sworn-in. The migrants who have got party ticket include Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli (Bidar), Raja Amaresh Nayak (Raichur) and G.S. Basavaraj (Tumkur). All these leaders are from the dominant Veerashaiva community to which the Chief Minister belongs.

Fielding the newcomers has already created heartburn among the old-timers, particularly the party’s MP from Tumkur, S. Mallikarjunaiah, who has been denied ticket to re-contest.

Mr. Mallikarjunaiah, who had a stint as the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, openly expressed displeasure over providing the ticket to party hoppers at the cost of loyal workers.