The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its first list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections, ending weeks of speculation and anticipation. The list includes 189 candidates, out of which 52 are new faces. The announcement was made during a press conference by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Mansukh Mandaviya, and other BJP leaders.
The list showcases a diverse mix of candidates, with 32 from the OBC community, 30 from the SC community, and 16 from the ST community. It includes 31 PhD holders and 31 candidates with post-graduate degrees. Additionally, there are eight doctors, social activists, and women on the list. The party has also given tickets to a retired IAS and an IPS officer.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who replaced BS Yediyurappa, will contest from the Shiggaon constituency. Former Deputy Chief Minister Lakshman Savadi missed a ticket from Athani. Bhaskar Rao, a former IPS officer and Bengaluru Commissioner, will contest from the Chamrajpet constituency.
In a key development, the son of former Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yediyurappa, BY Vijayendra, will contest from the Shikaripura seat, the same constituency where his father won seven times since 1983. Another important candidate is state minister B Sriramulu, who will contest from Bellary Rural.
A look at @BJP4Karnataka's list of 189 candidates for Karnataka Assembly Elections:
52 new faces
32 OBC candidates
2 Retired Officers
Only the BJP ensures equitable & universal representation.
— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) April 11, 2023
#Protests erupt after #BJP announces their first list. Supporters of NR Ramesh pour their anger against senior leaders R Ashok & BY Vijayendra. NR Ramesh was eyeing for Jayanagar ticket. #Karnataka #KarnatakaElections2023 pic.twitter.com/X0hNvPY0ch
— Imran Khan (@KeypadGuerilla) April 11, 2023
The list includes candidates who will be up against some of the most prominent leaders of the opposition parties. R Ashok will contest against Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar on the Kanakpura seat, and CP Yogeshwar will fight former chief minister Kumaraswamy from Channapatna. BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi will contest from Chikkamagaluru.
However, there are also some senior BJP leaders who are unhappy with the party’s decision regarding their candidacy. MLA and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has threatened to contest as an independent after being asked to make way for others. The BJP is yet to announce the candidate on his seat, Hubballi-Dharwad Central.
On the other hand, KS Eshwarappa, who used to contest from Shivamogga, has announced his retirement from electoral politics and agreed to the party’s request to give room for others. The BJP hasn’t announced a name yet for Shivamogga.
After the list was released, Karnataka CM Bommai expressed confidence in the BJP’s chances, saying, “There is an atmosphere in favour of double engine government rule all over the state, and this time we are going to form an absolute majority government.” With the announcement of the candidate list, the stage is now set for a fierce electoral battle in Karnataka.