BJP core committee shortlists Karnataka bypoll candidates
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) core committee, which met on Sunday in the presence of Arun Singh, in-charge of party affairs in the State, shortlisted the candidates for the two bypolls to Hangal and Sindgi constituencies, scheduled to be held on October 30.
While former MLA Ramesh Bhusanur has emerged as a front runner for Sindgi, Revathi Udasi, daughter-in-law of C.M. Udasi, whose death has necessitated the bypoll, is preferred for Hangal, sources said.
C.T. Ravi, general secretary of BJP, said the core committee has shortlisted names for the two constituencies and authorised State president Nalin Kumar Kateel to recommend them to the party high command, which would finalise the candidates and announce them shortly. “Both internal and external surveys have indicated that the BJP will win both seats,” he said. Earlier in the day, Mr. Singh also expressed confidence that the party would win in both constituencies. “The shortlisted names will be sent to the Central Election Committee, which will decide and make an announcement soon,” he said.
Sources in the core committee said Ashok Allapur and Shambuling Kakkalameli, two senior BJP workers from Vijayapura, were the other two names being considered for Sindgi. There was speculation that Ashoka Managuli, son of senior JD(S) leader M.C. Managuli, whose death has necessitated the bypoll, would contest from the BJP. But party sources said that Mr. Ashoka Managuli was likely to join the Congress and since the BJP had a strong leader in Mr. Bhusanur — a two-time MLA who lost to Managuli in 2018 — they were not keen on importing a leader. The BJP has put senior Ministers Govind Karjol, C.C. Patil and V. Somanna, among others, in charge of the byelection in the constituency.
Former Haveri MLA Shivaraj Sajjanar, zilla panchayat member B.S. Soppin, and BJP Haveri district president Siddaraj Kalakoti, apart from Ms. Revathi Udasi, are the names recommended for Hangal. MP for Haveri Shivakumar Udasi, son of C.M. Udasi, had himself expressed interest to contest in the bypoll to enter State politics, sources said, but the party has ruled out such a proposition to ensure there isn’t another bypoll. Mr. Udasi has pushed for his wife Ms. Revathi to get the ticket in order to retain the seat in the family.
Both B.S. Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai, who were close to C.M. Udasi, have favoured the candidature of Ms. Revathi Udasi, sources said. “It is up to the high command to decide whether to go for a family person or not. The party did successfully field Suresh Angadi’s wife in the Belagavi byelection. So we are not averse to it either,” a senior leader said. The party has made senior Ministers Murugesh Nirani, B.C. Patil, and J.C. Madhuswamy in charge of the bypoll in the constituency.