BENGALURU : Battleground Karnataka is witnessing things heating up as 12th May, the date of assembly election in the state is drawing near. After announcing the names of 72 candidates on April 7, the BJP has now announced the name of 82 more candidates for the election. Amit Shah,
national head of BJP, has set a target of 150 seats out of 224 assembly seats in the state for his party. Besides him, PM Narendra Modi is also a part of the central election committee of the BJP, which met in New Delhi to arrive at the final list of candidates. The name of BJP stalwart and ex CM of Karnataka, B S Yedyurappa, has already been announced as the chief ministerial candidate, and he will contest from Shikaripura. No Muslims of Christians have been given a BJP ticket yet. 5 of BJP’s candidates have a record of corruption, cheating, forgery etc., and the party is facing flak for giving tickets to tainted candidates.
The stakes in Karnataka polls are high for Congress too, which had announced its list of 218 candidates on Sunday, 15th April. Names of 5 more candidates are yet to be announced. The list has four father and son combos, and also that of a father and daughter, and this preference to family is in keeping with the image of the party. Incumbent CM Siddaramaiah has even vacated his Varuna seat for his son Yatheendra, and moved to Chamundeshwari. Also, speculations about him contesting from 2 seats have been put to rest, and he will be contesting only from Chamundeshwari.
The BJP has been critical of dynasty politics of the Congress and BJP’s Sadananda Gowda said, ‘There have times when many potential leaders have been denied seats by Congress as the party tends to favour its own clan. Congress follows this practice even at the state level, like Siddaramaiah , Jayachandra and Ramalinga Reddy.’ There are reports of dissent in the Congress over distribution of tickets, and allegations of nepotism have been flying thick and fast, with disgruntled leaders threatening to resign from party membership. State vice-president of the Congress, K E Radhakrishna, said, ‘We have set up cell headed by state unit President G. Parameshwara to pacify the members and aspirants who could not be selected to contest in the assembly poll for multiple reasons.’
The Janata Dal (Secular), in alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party, has announced the names of 126 candidates for Karnataka election. The last day for filing nominations is April 24, and April 27 is the last date for those who wish to withdraw their candidature. A limit of 28 lakhs has been set by the Election Commission for each candidate to spend on campaigning.
29 April onwards, PM Modi is expected to address as many as 16 rallies in the state to help his party’s ‘Congress Mukt’ vision turn into reality. On the other hand, Congress national head Rahul Gandhi will roll out a ‘Save the Constitution’ campaign to turn the spotlight on BJP’s attacks on the Constitution.