Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] at the Centre plans to shed its communal tag and woo voters from all religions, the probable list of candidates for the forthcoming Karnataka [ Images ] polls doesn't include a single Muslim name.
The BJP has already announced a list of probable candidates. BJP leaders told rediff.com that the list will have to be approved by the party high command and will be officially announced on Thursday.
Senior BJP leaders say that there won't be any significant changes in the list as the final nod from the high command is merely a formality.
While Muslim candidates find no place in the list, the BJP has decided to go ahead with a majority of Vokkaligas -- Of the 25 names announced, 8 are from the Vokkaliga community. Brahmins, Reddys and Scheduled Caste candidates have been given four tickets each. There are two Lingayat candidates and three Naidus in the BJP list.
BJP leaders defend the non-inclusion of Muslim candidates by claiming that there were no suitable candidates from the minority community.
Incidentally, the BJP has decided to give preference to Vokkaliga candidates, as it is the majority community in Bangalore. Both the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular are trying to pocket Vokkaliga votes through their leaders S M Krishna [ Images ] and Deve Gowda [ Images ] respectively.
However, the BJP denies that the candidates have been finalised on the basis of their caste and claims that only their ability to win has been taken into consideration, The delimitation of constituencies also have been a deciding factor in the finalisation of candidates.
Moreover the delimitation aspect too had to be taken into account while finalising the list, the leaders say.
Sources said that though some names might be added to the list by Thursday, the present list of candidates would remain unchanged. The party is yet to announce a candidate for Saravananagar, an area dominated by Tamils. Sridhar, a Tamil speaking functionary, is expected to fight the elections from this constituency.
The BJP list:
Hemachandra Sagar- Rajarajeshwarinagar
C N Ashwathnarayan- Malleshwaram
M Srinivas-Bangalore South
S Raghu-C V Ramananagar
A Narayana Swamy-Anekal
Nandish Reddy-K R Pura
Prasad Reddy-BTM Layout
S Suresh Kumar-Rajajinagar
Katta Subramanya Naidu-Hebbal
P C Mohan-Gandhinagar
R V Harish-Mahalakshmi layout
Pramila Nesargi- Vijaynagar