New Delhi, April 16
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday announced 82 candidates, including elder brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy and son of late chief minister S Bangarappa, for the Karnataka Assembly polls, taking to 154 the number of constituencies for which it has declared its nominees.
Polls for the 224-member Assembly are scheduled on May 12.
In the second list released on Monday, the BJP has fielded Reddy’s elder brother G Somashekar Reddy from Bellary City. Three defectors—Kumar Bangarappa, NL Narendra Babu and Sandesh Swamy—also feature on the list. Kumar Bangarappa will contest from Sorab.
G Janardhan Reddy is an accused in illegal mining case.
Krishnaiah Setty, an old associate of Yeddyurappa and who is a suspect in the BSY land scam, has been fielded from from Malur.
Among the seats for which the party is yet to announce candidates is Varuna, for which another one of Yeddyurappa’s son, BY Vijayendra, is seen as a strong contender.
Around 31 Lingayats and 17 Dalits have been accommodated.
The Congress has fielded Siddaramaiah’s son Yatheendra from Varuna, currently held by the chief minister who has moved to Chamundeshwari. The BJP has not announced its candidate against the chief minister.
Former minister Hartalu Halappa, who was acquitted in a rape case last year, will contest from Sagar.
Yeddyurappa loyalists Murugesh Nirani, Siddu Savadi, Kalakappa Bandi, Madalu Virupakshappa, Araga Jnanendra, B Sukumara Shetty, Prof. Mallikarjunappa and Nirajanakumar have also got tickets.
The list did not contain any Member of Parliament. Only two MPs—chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa who represents Shivamogga Lok Sabha constituency, and B Sriramulu, an ST leader and close associate of the illegal mining scam kingpin Janardhan Reddy and an MP from Bellary—have so far been named in BJP’s list of candidates.
The BJP released the list a day after its central election committee met here to finalise the names of its candidates for the high-stakes election.
The BJP on April 8 had declared its first list of 72 nominees that included its chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, and senior leaders K S Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar.
The Congress had on Sunday released its list of 218 candidates.
The BJP was reduced to 40 seats in the last assembly polls in 2013 in which the Congress had won 122 seats. JD (S) led by Deve Gowda had also won 40 seats.
Yeddyurappa had floated his own party, Karnataka Janata Paksha, in the last elections after he was removed as chief minister by the BJP over graft charges. The Lingayat leader, however, merged his party with the BJP in 2014.
He is contesting from Shikaripura in the upcoming polls.
The BJP is making an all-out bid to oust the Congress from power in the southern state.