The leadership of the State units of the two national parties in the State — the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party — are going through a challenging phase with all and sundry eyeing for party ticket for the Lok Sabha elections and the State leadership confined to playing a limited role in finalising the list of candidates.
Interestingly, even those who lost the Assembly elections in mid-2013, are seeking ticket for the elections to the Lok Sabha, although knowing fully well that a bigger challenge lies ahead.
There are several ginger groups within the two parties campaigning for ticket for their favourite candidates even as their larger aim is to ensure that their party wins a major chunk of seats.
Much to the chagrin of the leaders, party ticket is being sought on caste basis, although, at the outset, the claims are based on what is termed as winnability of the candidates.
If the BJP uses the term party loyalists, the Congress calls it “social engineering”, although it should be noted that both the parties are keen on fielding candidates of a dominant community in some of the constituencies.
While Congressmen are making a beeline to New Delhi to win the favour of the party high command, in the case of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the aspirants are largely warming up to the State unit leaders to help them get party ticket for the elections.
However, the final list of candidates of the two parties is expected to be announced in New Delhi, with the first list coming in about a week.
There are 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State and, according to sources in the Congress and the BJP, there are over 1,000 aspirants.
It is another matter that some candidates of the two parties are confident that they will get ticket and have even commenced their campaigning by meeting people and spending more time in the constituencies.
One of the secretaries of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee told The Hindu that the demand for party ticket has witnessed grown manifold compared to what it was during the run-up to the 2009 elections when the BJP was ruling the State.
Most of the aspirants for Congress ticket believe that they have a good chance to win in the present political scenario in the State.
Their view is obviously based on the situation where the Congress is ruling the State, unlike the predicament of the party, though heading the United Progressive Alliance government, at the national level.
It is in this midst of the demand for party ticket that both the Congress and the BJP are expected to be rocked in the days to come, and topping this list in the struggle for ticket is the case of the former KPCC president, B. Janardhana Poojary and that of the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
While the latter is stated to be seeking ticket for Bangalore North, the former is keen on contesting from Dakshina Kannada, although he lost the seat by a margin of nearly 50,000 votes in the last elections to the Lok Sabha