Karunakar Reddy’s decision to stick with the BJP despite odds has earned him a party ticket. But the BJP has been cautious in not fielding him from Bellary. Vicky Nanjappa reports
The much-awaited first list of the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates in Karnataka interestingly figures the name of Karunakar Reddy, one of Bellary's Reddy brothers.
Karunakar Reddy whose loyal aide, Sriramulu had broken away from the BJP has been given a ticket from Harapanahalli in Davangere.
The BJP has been careful to avoid giving him a ticket from Bellary as they do not want the mining issue to cropping up.
Many had expected Karunakar Reddy, whose name figured in the mining scam, to join Sriramulu’s BSR Congress.
He was very much seen with Sriramulu when he had won the by-election after breaking away from the BJP. However, Reddy was clear that he would remain in the BJP and this finally earned him a ticket.
The BJP has been a bit cautious where former minister, Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Shetty are concerned. Both have allegations of corruption against them and Naidu had even been sent to jail.
Their names have not figured in the list and despite both being sure shot winning candidates, the BJP will take time and decide if they would want to include them in the second list only.
The other highlights of the BJP list are that 80 out of the 82 sitting MLAs have been given tickets. After releasing the list, senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar said that the party is in a position to form the government in Karnataka again.
The BJP has also given tickets to all Yeddyurappa loyalists, who were sitting on the fence. The list has the names of Murugesh Nirani, Umesh Katti, Basavaraj Bommai, Vishwanath and Somanna.
Chief Minister, Jagadish Shettar would contest from Hubli while Home Minister R Ashok would battle the poll from the Vokkaliga-dominated Padmanabhanagar constituency. K S Eshwarappa, deputy CM would fight against Yeddyurappa from Shimoga.
Out of the 140 candidates announced on Friday, there are 29 SC, 8 ST and 18 OBC’s candidates.
The BJP announced that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will campaign extensively in Karnataka while he will be joined by party chief Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj who would campaign on April 8.