She is expected to dedicate two days for state campaign

In a bid to prevent further escalation of problems, the Bharatiya Janata Party State unit is thinking of excluding Bellary from the tour itinerary of its central leader Sushma Swaraj during campaigning here.

“We have requested Ms. Swaraj to tour the State and she may dedicate about two days for us. We may not include Bellary, where former Minister B. Sriramulu is the party candidate, given that she is opposed to his candidature,” BJP sources said. Following her Opposition, the party central leadership had allowed only re-inclusion of Mr. Sriramulu into the party for being fielded as candidate from Bellary and stopped plans for merging his BSR Congress with the BJP. “She has not indicated anything with respect to her choice of places for campaigning in the State. But we do not want to embarrass her by asking her to campaign in Bellary,” sources said.

A galaxy of central leaders is expected to campaign in Karnataka, which is the only southern State where the party has a considerable presence. Senior leaders such as prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and President Rajnath Singh are set to visit the state for one more round of campaign. The State unit has also asked that all Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled States — Vasundhara Raje, Manohar Parikkar, Raman Singh and Shivaraj Singh Chauhan — campaign in the State. Besides them, actor-turned-politician Smruti Irani and leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain are also expected to visit Karnataka.

More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL