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Karnataka MLC polls: BJP picks former deputy CM Savadi, 3 new faces, ignores BSY’s son

The BJP list of MLC candidates was delayed until the last minute on account of heavy lobbying from several quarters.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 25, 2022 2:23:31 am
BJP has given a ticket to Laxman Savadi, who was among the two BJP ministers accused of watching pornographic pictures in the state assembly when the BJP was in power between 2008-2013. (Source: Twitter/@LaxmanSavadi)

The BJP high command on Tuesday picked three new faces and a former deputy chief minister as its candidates for the June 3 polls for seven seats to the Karnataka legislative council, choosing to ignore the recommendation to nominate former Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra.

After delaying the announcement of its candidates until Tuesday morning, the last day for filing nominations, the BJP picked former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi, a Lingayat, Chalavadi Narayanswamy, a Scheduled Caste member, Hemalatha Nayak, a Scheduled Tribe member, and S Keshavaprasad, a member of an OBC community.

As anticipated, the BJP ignored Vijayendra, the son of Lingayat strongman Yediyurappa. Vijayendra’s name was among the 15 proposed by a core committee of the state BJP unit earlier this month. The BJP had indicated last week that Vijayendra’s candidature was in conflict with the BJP’s stand against dynastic politics and he would not be considered for the MLC polls. The BJP is expected to consider Vijayendra for a legislative assembly ticket next year when the state polls are held and his father is expected to retire from active politics.

The BJP list of MLC candidates was delayed until the last minute on account of heavy lobbying from several quarters. Although Lingaraj Patil, a member of the Panchamasali Lingayat arrived at the BJP office on Tuesday morning in anticipation of being chosen as one of the party candidates, the BJP opted for Savadi.

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Savadi was at one time projected as a potential BJP chief ministerial candidate for Karnataka but lost out after failing to win the 2018 assembly polls and was later made deputy chief minister to Yediyurappa after being nominated to the legislative council. Savadi was among the two BJP ministers accused of watching pornographic pictures in the state assembly when the BJP was in power between 2008-2013.

BJP was expected to pick C Manjula, a Vokkaliga, as its woman candidate but it picked Nayak, a Scheduled Tribe member, at the last minute.

The candidature of Narayanswamy, a Dalit and the head of the BJP SC morcha in Karnataka, was widely expected. The candidature of Keshavaprasad, an advocate, and member of the OBC community, was a surprise pick keeping in line with its recent efforts to provide recognition to unsung party workers.

The polls for seven seats in the legislative council are scheduled for June 3. The 224 members of the legislative assembly will vote in the polls. The BJP, with 121 MLAs, can win four seats (a minimum of 29 votes are needed for a candidate to win), the Congress with 69 seats can win two seats and the JDS with 32 seats can win one of the seven seats.

Congress announced the candidature of M Nagaraju Yadav, an OBC community member, and Abdul Jabbar, a minority community member, on Monday evening. The Congress candidates were chosen by the AICC to placate two rival state Congress factions.

The JDS is expected to pick K C Veerendra, a businessman who was raided by the IT department in the aftermath of demonetisation, or renominate T A Sharavana, a jewelry businessman, as its candidate.

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