Uncertainty over selection of candidates in BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party high command’s decision to overrule State core committee’s recommendation on candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls is expected to impact the process of selection for the forthcoming Legislative Council polls.

While the State leadership, especially Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, is sure to think of ways and means of preventing recurrence of such an embarrassing situation when it comes to Legislative Council polls scheduled on June 29, the aspirants are in a state of confusion as they do not know whom to approach for putting forth their case.

Elections are being held for seven MLC seats in which the MLAs will exercise their franchise. Given its numerical strength, the ruling BJP hopes to win four of them.

Though the aspirants had been lobbying with the State leaders, the Rajya Sabha episode has sent a message that the party high command will have its own ways of identifying candidates. This has put the aspirants in a state of confusion as they are not sure of the criteria for selection of candidates. Most of the aspirants, who are from influential backgrounds, were sticking to the conventional lobbying strategy of using prominent State political leaders besides projecting their communities.

The Rajya Sabha episode has, meanwhile, instilled hopes among a large number of low-profile party workers who too want to now try their luck. A few aspirants who spoke to The Hindu said they were considering writing to the party high command directly, putting across their cases. Some of them even wanted to approach their district units of the party requesting them to recommend their names to the party leadership.

“Now, we cannot rely on any of the State leaders, including prominent Ministers for lobbying on our behalf. The high command has clearly shown that there are no fixed parameters for selection of candidates and that the ground is wide open,” a BJP ticket aspirant for the MLC election told The Hindu.

Those who are particularly concerned, according to party sources, are the leaders who migrated to the BJP from other parties. Former Ministers A.H. Vishwanath, R. Shankar and N. Nagaraju (MTB), who joined the BJP by quitting their Assembly membership, are keen to contest the MLC elections. The party leaders are still not sure on whether they would get preference.

Meanwhile, though the BJP high command has chosen two low-profile party workers as its candidates for contesting the Rajya Sabha polls, a section of the leaders within the State unit feel that the high command should take its search process further to the level of “ordinary workers at grassroots level.” Some leaders argue that the Rajya Sabha candidates may be low-profile leaders, but in reality they are not ordinary party workers as they have held highly responsible positions in the organisation.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 5:10:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/uncertainty-over-selection-of-candidates-for-mlc-polls-in-bjp/article31797753.ece

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