Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has replaced his son B Y Raghavendra as the BJP’s candidate for the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat even as the party kept its faith with 12 of the 19 members of parliament elected in 2009 in the course of the announcement of the party’s first list of 20 candidates for the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka on Saturday.
Apart from the Shimoga seat, where Yeddyurappa is a new candidate, the BJP has dropped existing members of parliament in two other seats — Bangalore North, where former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda has ousted D B Chandre Gowda, and Koppal where sitting MP Shivaramegouda has been replaced by Karadi Sanganna.
The BJP has not announced candidates for eight seats — including several where differences with the Yeddyurappa faction of the party has stalled the choice of candidates. Tumkur, Bidar, Mysore, Udupi-Chikamagalur are the constituencies where differences of opinion have occurred.
With the likelihood of some supporters of Yeddyurappa not being chosen for party tickets looming large, the former chief minister dashed to Delhi on Saturday to convince party leaders to give tickets to his supporters.
The move came even as two close supporters of Yeddyurappa — Dhananjay Kumar and M D Lakshminarayan — claimed to be joining the rival JDS and Congress parties, after failing to be accommodated in the BJP for being vocally critical of the top leadership, including L K Advani, while they were in Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party between 2012-13.
The next list of BJP is set to be released on March 13.