Confusion, dejection, relief…

Special Correspondent

Congress releases list hours before deadline for filing nomination papers

An estimated 800 Congress workers are believed to be in the fray

Heartburn among ticket aspirants continues to haunt the BJP

BANGALORE: On the last day of filing nomination papers for the BBMP polls here on Monday, confusion, dejection and relief prevailed among ticket hopefuls from all the three mainstream political parties — the Congress, the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular)

The Congress, which delayed the release of its list of candidates till hours before the deadline for filing nomination papers ended at 3 p.m., caused confusion among its hopefuls, who filed their nomination papers with or without ‘B' forms.

The party now is haunted by the threat of rebellion with an estimated 800 party workers believed to be in the fray in the 198 wards of the BBMP. The party workers, who remain in the fray even after Wednesday, the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers for the March 28 polls, could play spoilsport to the chances of the party's official candidates, leaders fear.

The party is expected to set in motion the herculean task of convincing the “rebels” in the fray to withdraw in favour of the official candidates.

The aspirants, who were accommodated in the party list, heaved a sigh of relief after days of suspense over the fate of their claim for party ticket. While the former Mayors J. Huchappa and Mumtaz Begum could not be accommodated in the list, party leaders K.H.N. Simha and Vijaya Kumar, who sought ticket for their sons, were not obliged. But two other former Mayors, P.R. Ramesh and Narayana Swamy were given party ticket. Another former Mayor Lakkanna is contesting as an independent. (Mr. Ramesh had moved court seeking early elections to the BBMP Council.)

BJP rebels

Heartburn among disappointed ticket aspirants continued to haunt the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as it announced two more lists of candidates with 44 names on the final day for filing nomination papers.

The party leadership has entrusted its Bangalore city MLAs with the responsibility of ensuring that the party ticket aspirants, who are in the fray despite not getting ‘B' forms, withdraw their nomination papers.

According to the party leadership, about 25 such candidates have the potential to turn out as rebels as they appear to be determined to remain in the contest. The MLAs concerned have commenced talks with such candidates in a bid to convince them to withdraw from the fray, party sources said. The senior party leaders are expected to intervene if the MLAs fail to convince the “rebels” to withdraw.