The BJP central leadership on Monday overruled recommendations by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and the party’s state unit for the Rajya Sabha polls to be held on June 19 for four seats. It chose two low-profile candidates from the party cadre over established leaders recommended by the state leadership.
The announcement of two candidates rather than three by the BJP has also left the field open for former PM and JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda to enter the Rajya Sabha fray on Tuesday with the Congress’s support.
Eranna Kadadi (54), a member of the dominant Lingayat community from Belagavi, and Ashok Gasti (55), a backward class leader from the Ballari region, are former ABVP workers who have been associated with the BJP for over three decades. They are considered to be recommended by BJP national organising secretary B L Santhosh on account of their grassroots experience.
The decision to select the two over Belagavi stalwarts Prabhakar Kore, a sitting MP who retires on June 30, and former MP Ramesh Katti, as well as hotelier Prakash Shetty from coastal Karnataka, is seen as an effort to give representation to long-term party workers and loosen Yediyurappa’s hold on BJP policies in the state.
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Following the BJP’s announcement, the JD(S) said it will field Deve Gowda with Congress’s support. “Following the request of our party MLAs, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and several other national leaders, former PM H D Devegowda has decided to contest the Rajya Sabha polls. He will be filing his nomination tomorrow,” said H D Kumaraswamy, former CM and Devegowda’s son.
After Bihar, Odisha, Shah to address Bengal workers today