The Bharatiya Janata Party leadership is learnt to have made it clear to the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa that it is determined about him contesting from Shimoga in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
According to sources in the party, such a message was communicated to Mr. Yeddyurappa during the consultations of the party’s State-level core committee comprising top leaders held here on Monday, with the district units, as part of the process of selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.
The pressure is mounting on Mr. Yeddyurappa to contest as the party’s Shimoga district unit too is said to be unanimous in its opinion that he should contest. Though his son B. Y. Raghavendra is at present representing Shimoga in the Lok Sabha, the district unit leaders are reportedly of the view that Mr. Yeddyurappa will be a better bet for the party for this seat, which is expected to witness a high-profile contest.
A delegation of BJP leaders from Shimoga called on Mr. Yeddyurappa at his residence in Bangalore on Monday morning and urged him to contest from the Shimoga Lok Sabha Constituency. A leader, who was part of this delegation, said Mr. Yeddyurappa had told them that he would abide by the decision to be taken by the party central unit.
Interestingly, Mr. Yeddyurappa is yet to formally commit himself though the pressure to contest is building up.
A senior leader of the party, however, expressed confidence that Mr. Yeddyurappa would oblige the party leadership.
Meanwhile, the process of selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls reached a crucial stage on Monday with the party completing consultations with all the district units. While consultations regarding 20 LS seats were held on Monday, the views for the remaining seats have already been elicited.
Briefing presspersons after the meeting, BJP State president Pralhad Joshi announced that the party would finalise the names of all the candidates this week and forward them to the central unit for approval early next week. The party wants the first list of candidates to be announced by the Centre before the rallies to be addressed by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the State from February 18.
He said the party top leaders would soon tour the rally areas to monitor preparations. As part of this process, a convention would also be held in Haveri on February 13. BJP central leader Yashwant Sinha will also visit the State on February 26 to interact with professionals from various fields as part of poll preparations, he said.
Mr. Joshi said the party’s appeal to people to provide suggestions on issues to be included in its poll manifesto had evinced a good response as nearly two lakh persons, including several experts, had responded.
Draft electoral rolls
Expressing concern over the Election Commission not making available the draft electoral rolls though they were supposed to be ready by January 6 itself, he said such a delay had halted the process of revision of voters’ list. He urged the commission to release the draft rolls at the earliest.