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Will give bypoll tickets to disqualified MLAs if they want to contest from BJP: Yediyurappa

Yediyurappa also tried to pacify ticket aspirants within the BJP, saying that after discussion in the cabinet in 3-4 days, "opportunity" would be created in boards and corporations for 10-12 BJP leaders who had lost the 2018 polls by narrow margin.

yediyurappa on disqualified mlas, yediyurappa on karnataka bypolls, congress jds disqualified mlas, karnataka bypolls date,  Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa (File)

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Monday said the disqualified Congress-JDS MLAs would be given BJP tickets if they want to contest the upcoming bypolls in the state.

Yediyurappa said party president Amit Shah has said it was “our responsibility” to give tickets to the former MLAs. “Bye-elections are coming up, dates have been announced for 15 seats, Amit Shah has said that those who have resigned and want to contest from BJP, all of them will be given seats (tickets), it is our responsibility,” Yediyurappa was quoted as saying by PTI.

“If you desire to contest from our party, priority will be given to you in making you candidates. BJP karyakartas and leaders will take responsibility for your victory,” he said.

The rebellion by the then MLAs had led to the fall of H D Kumaraswamy-led the Congress-JD(S) government in the state. The bypolls on 15 out of 17 vacant seats have been scheduled for December 5. The results will be declared on December 9.

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Yediyurappa also tried to pacify ticket aspirants within the BJP, saying that after discussion in the cabinet in 3-4 days, “opportunity” would be created in boards and corporations for 10-12 BJP leaders who had lost the 2018 polls by narrow margin.

Read | Karnataka bypolls 2019: Focus on 15 seats, disqualified MLAs wait for SC decision

“The opportunity will be created for them so that they will work for the victory of those (disqualified MLAs) who were responsible for the party coming to power,” he added.

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Yediyurappa’s statement came in the wake of growing opposition in some quarters within the party against giving tickets to disqualified MLAs. Aspirants and party candidates, defeated in the 2018 assembly polls in segments including Hosakote, Hirekerur, Kagwad and Mahalakshmi Layout, have said tickets should be given to loyal party cadres who have worked to build BJP.

On Sunday, senior BJP MLA Umesh Katti had said the disqualified MLAs “will have to find their way”.

Meanwhile, disqualified Congress MLA B C Patil welcomed Yediyurappa’s statement. “It is a matter of happiness. We will all sit together and decide on it in the future,” he said.

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However, Patil said the disqualified MLAs have not yet discussed joining BJP. “Let the court decide on our disqualification, then we will discuss on it and come to a decision,” he said.

The Supreme Court is yet to decide on the disqualified MLAs eligibility to contest the polls.

The MLAs had submitted their resignations from the assembly, but then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, acting on petitions by Congress and JDS, disqualified them under the anti-defection law for their alleged anti-party activities till the expiry of the term of the current assembly in 2023.

Among the 15 constituencies going for polls, 12 were represented by Congress and 3 by JD(S).

As per the current arithmetic of the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, the ruling BJP has 104 MLAs and is supported by an independent in the assembly. While the Congress’ strength is 66, JD(S) has 34 MLAs in the assembly that also consists of one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.

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The BJP will need to win at least six seats in the coming bye-elections to stay in power.

(With inputs from PTI)

First published on: 30-09-2019 at 07:09:54 pm
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