Karnataka Elections: BJP Faces Heat After 1st Candidate List

Karnataka Assembly Elections:BJP Faces Heat After 1st Candidate List

Influential leaders who were overlooked or dropped are threatening to run against the party’s first list, which it has justified as a “socially fair allocation of tickets.”

The first list of candidates announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Karnataka legislative elections on Tuesday, April 11, ignited furious responses throughout the state and put party officials in a bind.

Laxman Savadi, a former deputy chief minister, announced on Wednesday that he chose to leave the BJP and his representative as an MLC because he was denied a ticket to run from the Athani constituency in the Belagavi district after two senior leaders, K.S. Eshwarappa and Jagdish Shettar, responded to their ticket rejection on Tuesday in distinct manners.

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During a press conference, Savadi announced his intention to step down from the party’s elementary membership. He also stated that he will make “a powerful action” on Thursday evening and start working on Friday. The Lingayat chief is a three-term MLA from Athani who was defeated in the 2018 elections. In a surprise move, he was appointed as one of B.S. Yediyurappa’s deputy chief ministers in 2019, after his party formed the government after a split of 17 MLAs from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). He received an MLC appointment.

Mahesh Kumtahalli, who had previously served in Congress, won the Athani seat in 2018. He was one of the 17 MLAs who quit the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in 2019 and joined the BJP. He left Congress, ran for office in Athani once more, and was elected.

This time, Mahesh was given preference by the party despite Savadi’s request for the Athani ticket. Ramesh Jarkiholi, one of the strongmen of the Belagavi district, supported him, along with his brothers. Jarkiholi fully backed Mahesh, stating that he (Jarkiholi) would also decline the ticket from the Gokak constituency if the latter was not given one.

BJP faces backlash
The BJP experienced great success in the late-year assembly elections in Gujarat by ousting nearly 50 incumbent MLAs. A scaled-back version of this experiment was attempted in Karnataka, where nine sitting MLAs were denied tickets. From the 189 candidates on the initial list for the elections on May 10, it introduced about 52 new faces.

The party argued that social justice was guaranteed in the initial list as justification for its choice. “The list includes 32 OBCs, 30 SCs, 16 STs, and 7 Kurubas. We have made sure that the distribution of tickets is as socially equitable as possible,” a party leader claimed.

People who have been left out are criticizing it, though.

A ticket is given to the protesting hijab leader
Bhat has been succeeded by Yashpal Suvarna, who is also the vice president of the Development Committee of the Udupi Government PU Girls’ College, the site of the protests against the hijab’s wear since they first broke out a year ago.

Suvarna, a member of the lower-class Mogaveera (fisherman) community, was instrumental in preventing students from wearing scarves in a class by labeling the girls who opposed the hijab ban as “terrorists” and inciting others to do the same. Suvarna previously belonged to the RSS, moved on to the Bajrang Dal, and then joined the BJP.

The state BJP authority hasn’t done anything to appease the leaders, despite the wide range of those who received no tickets. J.P. Nadda, the party’s national president, spoke with Shettar and invited him to visit Delhi. It was unknown what happened between them.

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