The BJP on Monday released its second list of 82 candidates for the May 12 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, including G. Somashekar Reddy who is the younger brother of Bellary mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy.
Otr prominent candidates in the second list are former BJP Ministers Murgesh Nirani, Hartalu Halappa, M.P. Renukacharya, Krishnaiah Shetty, and K. Subramanya Naidu and Kumar Bangarappa, who switched over from the ruling Congress and is the son of former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa.
The names of the candidates — all men — were finalised on Sunday in Delhi by the BJP Central Election Committee headed by party President Amit Shah and including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda.
The party had released on April 8 its first list of 72 candidates, including three women.
“The third list of 70 candidates will be released in 2-3 days as their winning prospects are being evaluated,” Bharatiya Janata Party state Spokesman S. Shantaram told IANS in Bengaluru.
“As candidates are selected on the basis of their winnability, the party has not considered the caste, gender, and other factors,” said Shantaram, but hoped the third list would have some women candidates.
In the 2013 Assembly elections, the party fielded eight women though only one — Shashikala Jolle from Nippani won.
“All 40 sitting legislators of the BJP have been re-nominated to contest. So also those who lost in the 2013 elections,” he said.
The BJP also cleared the names of 10 legislators, including six from the breakaway Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) and four from the BSR Congress who rejoined the party.
The party’s chief ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa, who broke away from the BJP in 2012 and formed the KJP ahead of the 2013 elections, rejoined the party in January 2014 and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Shivamogga in Malnad area.
“Most of our candidates lost in the last elections as our traditional votes were split between the BJP and KJP, benefiting the Congress,” Shantaram said.
Winning 122 seats, nine more than the halfway mark (113), the Congress returned to power after a decade in the May 2013 elections.