KARNATAKA

Row over Yeddyurappa’s son’s nomination ends

Pramod Mellegatti

Bangarappa all set to join Congress



‘Chief Minister is of the opinion it may send the wrong signal’

Finalisation of panel of names for LS polls to be expedited now



SHIMOGA: The controversy over the reported move to field B.Y. Raghavendra, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s son, as a BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha election from Shimoga constituency appears to have died down with the statement by the Chief Minister in Bangalore on Wednesday that it has been dropped in the absence of a consensus.

It was stated that Mr. Yeddyurappa gave up the idea of fielding his son as the party’s candidate in the Lok Sabha on the grounds that it might send the wrong signal at a time when talks on finalising the party candidates were going on.

With this, the process of preparing a panel of candidates by the district BJP unit is likely to be expedited. It was earlier slowed down following reports that Mr. Raghavendra might emerge as a consensus candidate.

Divided opinion

However, the opinion in party circles over the reported move to field Mr. Raghavendra as the party’s candidate is divided. There is a small section in the party unit in the district which does not see anything wrong in fielding him as the party candidate in appreciation of Mr. Yeddyurappa’s significant contribution in ensuring a big win for the BJP in the last Assembly elections which eventually helped it to come to power on its own for the first time in the State.

Denied

Those who were in support of Mr. Raghavendra’s candidature were of the opinion that he should not be denied an opportunity to contest as the party’s candidate just because he happens to be the Chief Minister’s son.

“Mr. Raghavendra, who made his political debut by getting elected to the Shikaripur Town Municipal Council as his father did, would have shown his mettle if he were to be have been given an opportunity,” they said suggesting that Mr. Yeddyurappa should reconsider his decision in the matter.

Party image

On the other hand, the group, which has consistently opposed the move to field Mr. Raghavendra as the party’s candidate on the ground that it did not go well with the party’s known opposition to the “rule of dynasty”, was of the opinion that it would have damaged the party’s image in the long run.

Alternative names being heard prominently include the former Shimoga MP Ayanur Manjunath and the State BJP secretary M.B. Bhanu Prakash. Mr. Manjunath appears to enjoy a better chance in view of his credentials — having contested as the party’s candidate in the last three Lok Sabha elections.

To meet Sonia

Meanwhile, it appears certain that the State Samajwadi Party president S. Bangarappa is all set to be fielded as the Congress candidate again following reports that the All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi has given her nod for his re-joining the Congress after his agreeing to merge his State unit of the Samajwadi Party with her party.

According to reports, Mr. Bangarappa is expected to meet Ms. Gandhi in Delhi soon to formally join the party.

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