It delays process in anticipation of moves of fence-sitters

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday put off the process of finalisation of its first list of candidates for the Assembly elections till March 31 as part of a strategy, and also due to the huge demand for ticket from aspirants. Though the party’s core committee discussed the issue in Bangalore on Tuesday, the meeting decided to take some more time to finalise the names.

Accordingly, the core committee will now consult the district presidents of the party on March 30 and 31 to help it finalise the list. “We will finalise our first list of candidates comprising 130 to 140 names on March 31 and forward it to the party central election committee on the same day for getting approval,” sources said. But they made it clear that though the names of candidates would be finalised on that day, they would not be made public. “We have adopted a wait-and-watch policy as part of the political strategy before publicly announcing our first list of candidates as some of our legislators including Ministers are likely to move to the Karnataka Janata Paksha,” sources said.

The fence-sitters have become tricky for the BJP while finalising ticket. While it would be embarrassing for the party if they quit after getting ticket, not giving ticket to them would kick up political dust and make them immediately join the KJP, sources said. In this context, the party is also playing a wait and watch game and repeatedly putting off the date for finalisation of the first list of candidates.

Two Ministers M.P. Renukacharya and Murugesh Nirani have given clear indications that they will quit the BJP to join the KJP. Though there are reports of Ministers Umesh Katti and V. Somanna also getting ready to join them, sources in the BJP said: “We are keeping our fingers crossed with respect to Mr. Katti and Mr. Somanna as efforts are still on from our side to keep them with us.”

Huge demand

Meanwhile the party is said to be facing a huge demand for ticket from aspirants in the constituencies which are not represented by it in the Assembly. “As the party has decided to give ticket to almost all its sitting MLAs, there is no problem in deciding the candidature in those constituencies where we have our MLAs. But in other constituencies, the list of aspirants is growing and has touched 20 in some. We are consulting our district unit presidents before the selection process,” sources said.

Manifesto on April 7, 8

BJP manifesto committee chairman D.B. Chandre Gowda, MP, said the manifesto was likely to be released on April 7 or 8. He said the first meeting of the manifesto committee was on Tuesday.

  • Core committee will now consult district presidents on March 30 and 31 to help finalise list

  • BJP is playing a wait and watch game with fence-sitters