K’taka Polls: BJP faces heat of rebels over ticket allotment

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ElectionBangalore, March 27: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka is in a dilemma as whom to give tickets and whom not, as it faces large-scale desertion from party leaders, who are likely to join Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP).

The newly appointed Karnataka BJP President Prahlad Joshi said the party was continuing its “home work” and would complete the process of finalising the candidates by March 28 or 29. Joshi, who last week took over as state BJP chief, said most of the sitting MLAs would get tickets. Once the list is prepared here, it would be sent to central leadership for its approval.

BJP’s exercise comes even as it is facing a dilemma over certain fence-sitters who are expected to desert the party and join hands with former party strongman and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa. Moreover, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has alleged that the Yeddyurappa was pressuring BJP MLAs to join his party.

“Mr. Yeddyurappa’s frustrated efforts to topple the BJP government have failed. Now, the KJP leaders are visiting the residence of BJP MLAs and are pressuring them to join their party,” he said at the convention of the Bharatiya Janata Party activists held as part of the ongoing Vijaya Sankalp Yatra in Shimoga on Sunday.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Chief Ministers R Ashok and K S Eshwarappa and party General Secretary H N Ananth Kumar were engaged in the selection process. For Congress which is hoping to stage a comeback to power, it has been a tough exercise with ticket aspirants flocking to Delhi in droves and putting pressure to stake their claim. The leaders too are lobbying hard for their candidates.

Yeddyurappa-led KJP has announced the first list of candidates while another key player JD(S) is expected to come out with its names by month-end. The Election Commission on March 20 announced that single phase assembly elections in Karnataka will be held on May 5. Counting of the votes will be held on May 8. There are 4.18 crore voters in Karnataka and voting will take place at 50446 polling stations.

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