B Form for 3 seats on hold, KCV arrives to quell revolt

Bengaluru: Even as the Congress party is grappling with internal dissent over the announcement of tickets for 218 assembly seats, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, K.C. Venugopal landed in the city to quell the rebellion in the party.

After his arrival, the party seems to  have decided to put on hold the issue of the ‘B?’ forms for three constituencies – Badami, Madikeri and Jagalur. This has reportedly triggered speculation that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah may opt to contest from Badami in Bagalkote district at the last minute.

Apart from this, Malleshwaram candidate and planning and statistics minister, M.R. Seetharam met Mr Venugopal and reportedly made  a plea that he should not be fielded from Malleswaram as he was happy with his present post as MLC. "Mr Seetharam is reportedly not sure of securing his partymen’s support in Malleshwaram and hence, does not want to contest the polls. It is too late even to start his campaign in the constituency," a source told this newspaper.

Speaking to DC, another senior leader said that the party has developed cold feet after news broke about theMadikeri candidate, H. S. Chandra Mouli, the lawyer for absconding businessman Mehul Choksi. 

“CM Siddarmaiah's legal  advisor Brijesh Kalappa too had raised objections over Mr Mouli being given ticket. He had taken to social media to vent his ire against Mr Mouli and the party. However, it was the media in Kodagu which came out with the story revealing details about Mr Mouli's connections with the absconding businessman and after this report, the party has reportedly decided to put on hold the issue of the B form to Mr Mouli,” source explained.

Similarly, sitting legislator, H. P. Rajesh whom the party had dropped saying he was a ‘non-performing legislator’ was replaced with woman leader, A. L. Pushpa. The party has now decided to put on hold the issue of ticket to the latter after Davangere district strongman and district in-charge minister, S. S. Mallikarjun reportedly intervened on Mr Rajesh's behalf. 

BJP postpones release of final list 

Following a last minute decision by the Congress to put on hold the decision on candidates for three Assembly seats, including Badami, the opposition BJP has postponed the release of its third and final list of candidates for the Assembly polls. 

Sources in the party told this newspaper  that due to this and  the decision of Congress MLA from Ballari Rural, N.Y. Gopalakrishna to join the party, the BJP has decided to release its final list of candidates on Wednesday after a discussion with party national president Amit Shah. Mr Shah, who arrived in Bengaluru Tuesday night,  told the party’s  election team to wait for a day before releasing the final list of 70 candidates. In fact, the final list of the BJP will include candidates for important seats including Varuna, Chamundeshwari, Badami and Yeshwanthpur. 

If CM Siddaramaiah files his nomination for Badami, the BJP will have to change its strategy and put up a strong candidate against him.  For Varuna, the BJP may bow to the pressure of party state president B.S. Yeddyurappa and give the ticket to his son B.Y. Vijayendra while in Yeshwanthpur, the BJP is yet to find a suitable candidate to face Congress leader S.T. Somashekhar. Yeddyurappa has been pressurising the party to field his trusted loyalist Shobha Karandlaje here since she represented the constituency from 2008- 2013. Meanwhile, Congress leader N.Y. Gopalakrishna joined the BJP with the party likely to field him from  Kudligi constituency in Ballari. Sources said that due to a ‘miscalculation’ of the ruling Congress which denied the ticket to a sitting MLA, the scenario has drastically changed in Ballari district.

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