The Bharatiya Janata Party suffered an embarrassment as its Malur candidate did not submit the B-Form given by it to the returning officer reportedly to help local leader S.N. Krishnaiah Setty, whom the party wanted to keep out of the poll contest in the wake of serious charges being faced by him.

With this, the party not only missed the opportunity to field its candidate for Malur, but also its plans of fielding candidates for all the 224 Assembly constituencies went awry. The party is now contesting only 223 constituencies.

After taking a stand of keeping its three tainted MLAs — including Mr. Setty — out of the poll contest, the BJP chose alternative candidates for their constituencies in consultation with them in a bid to prevent any possibility of rebellion by these “tainted” personalities.

In Malur, the BJP gave the ticket to Mr. Setty’s close aide Venkatesh Gowda. He went to the returning officer’s office along with Mr. Setty with the B Form just when 15 minutes were left for the deadline for filing of nominations on Wednesday.

Though the party supporters thought that everything had gone well, it latter became clear that Mr. Gowda had not submitted the B Form in a bid to clear the obstacle for Mr. Setty who has already filed nomination as an independent. His wife too has filed nominations as an independent candidate. But she is expected to withdraw her nomination.

Taking a serious note of the episode, BJP State president Pralhad Joshi on Thursday admitted that the incident had embarrassed the party leadership.

Making it clear that there was no question of the party supporting Mr. Setty, he said the party would initiate an inquiry into the episode and take disciplinary action against both Mr. Setty and his friend Gowda.

  • The BJP is now contesting only 223 constituencies

  • Upset party to initiate disciplinary action against both