Karnataka Bypolls: BJP names candidate for Ranebennur seat


Team Udayavani, Nov 15, 2019, 4:33 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said disqualified MLA R Shankar will be made a member of Legislative Council and a minister as he announced Arun Kumar Pujar as the BJP candidate to contest from Ranebennur seat represented by him in the December 5 bypolls.

The move is seen as an apparent bid to mollify Shankar, who along with 15 other disqualified Congress and JD (S) MLAs joined the BJP on Thursday and was keen to contest from Ranebennur.

Yediyurappa announced the name of Pujar on Friday for Ranebennur seat.

With this, the BJP has named candidates for all 15 seats for which by-polls will be held following the disqualification of the Congress-JD(S) MLAs and 13 of them have been fielded in their respective constituencies.

Bypolls are being held to 15 of 17 seats represented by disqualified MLAs, whose resignation and absence from the trust vote had led to the collapse of H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July.

By-elections to Maski and R R Nagar constituencies have been withheld as separate cases with regard to them, are pending before the High Court.

“I have promised Shankar that it is my responsibility to make him an MLC and a minister. I am the one who keeps the promise,” Yediyurappa said after a meeting with Shankar here.

The chief minister said he had asked Shankar to assist Pujar, adding it was decided to give ticket to him (Pujar) because everybody in the party desired so.

Though Shankar was adamant on contesting the byelection, the Chief Minister had persuaded him to relent, party sources said.

Reacting to the development, Shankar said the Chief Minister had assured to make him a minister.

Shankar was elected on the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) ticket in the 2018 assembly polls, and had repeatedly switched sides since then.

Subsequently, he had merged the KPJP with the Congress.

As he had camped with rebel MLAs leading to the fall of coalition governemnt, he was disqualified on the Congress’ petition.

About another disqualified MLA Roshan Baig, the Chief Minister said he has spoken to him and told him that in the present circumstances it was difficult for the BJP to give him a ticket.

The party has fielded former corporator M Saravana from Shivajinagar seat, a seat represented by Baig.

“I have asked Baig to work for Saravana. I don’t know what his next course of action will be,” Yediyurappa said.

Baig was in the thick of controversy when the IMA ponzi scandal broke out.

He has not yet revealed his cards but sources close to the former Minister claimed there was a possibility of him contesting the election as an independent candidate if the BJP denied him a ticket.

Ahead of the December 5 bypolls, the BJP is facing rebellion from within as a few aspirants have turned against the party in the face of denial of a ticket.

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