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Amid UP landslide, BJP discusses CM probables

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Lucknow, March 11: With the BJP set for a landslide in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, speculations are rife within and outside party circles about the new Chief Minister.

For some, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also a probable candidate for the top post in the state. The names of state BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, Union Minister Manoj Sinha and even Yogi Adityanath are doing the rounds.

Rajnath Singh has been the Chief Minister for a little over one year between 2001 and 2002. The Thakur leader, however, may not be a favourite since he is not seen as “too cosily” by Narendra Modi-Amit Shah team.

Maurya is from a Most Backward Caste and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha MP from Phoolpur in Allahabad.

Maurya led from the front in the 2017 assembly polls in the most populous and politically significant state in the country. He criss-crossed the state in the last one year and is credited to have brought the most backward castes to the BJP camp.

BJP President Amit Shah, sources say, “designed the poll strategy in such a way that Maurya’s naming as the state unit chief pepped up the MBC voters”.

Maurya came up to the expectations and is indeed a front runner, a senior party leader told IANS.

The Phoolpur MP, however, refused to bite the bait and said the BJP is a “democratic party where things such as these are discussed by the Parliamentary Board”.

“Till now, I was given charge of the state unit and marshalling the forces for an electoral win. I have discharged that job to the best of my abilities,” he added.

Another name doing the rounds is of Manoj Sinha, the Union Minister of State for Railways. He is from Poorvanchal, where the BJP is focussing big time.

Known as “amicable” and a quiet worker, he has endeared himself to the party leadership. But many insiders feel he may not make it to the finishing line, since the BJP high command’s tilt is towards an MBC or Other Backward Class.

Having decimated the Bahujan Samaj Party and hugely dented the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the OBC vote bank, the BJP is now trying to strike a balance between the Dalits, OBCs and MBCs as well as the Brahmin-Thakur voters who have long supported the party.

Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani’s name has often cropped up in drawing room discussions. Being a good orator and a woman, she stands some chance, many in the BJP feel. But a section says this seems unlikely as “Modi and his team will not like to suffer for her failures in future”

Firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath, a vocal section of the party feels, should be the next Chief Minister. But his style of politics — speaking of ‘ghar wapasi’, ‘love jihad’ and its kind — don’t make him a favourite beyond the Gorakhpur belt.

Dinesh Sharma, the Lucknow mayor and party’s national Vice-President, many feel also is in the reckoning. A Brahmin face is something the party needs, a state office- bearer said.

The name of BJP National Spokesman Srikant Sharma, who contested from Mathura, is also being thrown up by some. However, there is also a feeling that “after the Akhilesh disaster for a big state like Uttar Pradesh”, the BJP will not toy with a young person, who has not even held any office so far apart from having experience in party organisation.

The BJP Parliamentary Board is slated to meet in New Delhi later on Saturday to discuss the issue of Chief Minister. A final decision is, however, likely to be taken after Holi on March 13 when the state BJP legislature party meets. Till then, rumour mills will keep working overtime in the land of Awadh.
By Mohit Dubey

IANS

Election

BJP’s CM face Yeddyurappa files nomination for Karnataka polls

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Bengaluru: BS Yeddyurappa meets Dalit family, File Photo: IANS

Bengaluru, April 19 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Chief Ministerial candidate for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls, B.S. Yeddyurappa, on Thursday filed his nomination papers from Shikaripura Assembly segment, a party official said.

“Yeddyurappa has filed his nomination from Shikaripura constituency,” the party’s state spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS here.

He will be contesting from his hometown Shikaripura in Shivamogga district, about 300 km northwest of Bengaluru, for the eighth time since 1983.

Yeddyurappa, 75, a Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga in the state’s Malnad region, was the BJP’s first Chief Minister in Karnataka from 2008 to 2011 when he resigned following an indictment by the state ombudsman (Lokayukta) in a multi-crore mining scam.

In a related development, another BJP leader K.S. Eshwarappa, the party’s leader in the state Legislative Council, also filed his nomination from Shivamogga Assembly segment.

Eshwarappa, who was the Deputy Chief Minister in the BJP’s first government in the state from 2008 to 2013, will be contesting from the seat for the sixth time. He lost the seat in the 2013 Assembly elections to the Congress.

Also, the ruling Congress’ Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar filed his nomination from Kanakapura in Ramanagara district, about 55 km from Bengaluru.

Polling across the state’s 224 Assembly segments will take place in a single phase on May 12 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Votes are to be counted on May 15, as per the notification issued by Governor Vajubhai R. Vala on Tuesday.

According to it, April 24 is the last date for filing nominations. Scrutiny of nominations will be on April 25 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 27.

IANS

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BJP MLC Somanna Bevinmarad resigns after denial of ticket

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Somanna Bevinamarad

Bengaluru, April 18: BJP MLC Somanna Bevinmarad on Wednesday resigned from the party after denial of a ticket for the upcoming Karnataka Elections.

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Congress names 218 candidates for Karnataka assembly poll

The opposition BJP released its first list of 72 candidates on April 8, while Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) named 126 nominees on March 27.

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CM Siddaramaiah, File Photo

New Delhi/Bengaluru, April 16 : Karnataka’s ruling Congress on Sunday declared 218 candidates for the May 12 assembly elections, withholding names for remaining six seats of the 224-member house.

According to Congress General Secretary Mukul Wasnik, who released the list in the national capital, the candidates were selected by the party’s Central Election Committee from the names its screening committee recommended after a two-day meeting in New Delhi on April 9-10.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, 69, will contest from Chamundeshwari in Mysuru, where he had contested seven times since 1983 and won five times.

Though he was re-elected from the adjacent Varuna seat in Mysuru district in the May 2013 assembly polls, the party high command has agreed to field his son Yatindra from his home constituency this time.

Contrary to media reports, Siddaramaiah will not contest from any other constituency, especially Badami in Bagalkot district as speculated, with the party fielding Devraj Patil from it.

Party’s state unit President G. Parameshwara will contest from Korategere in Tumakuru district from where he lost in the last assembly poll. State Working President Dinesh Gundu Rao will fight from Gandhinagar in Bengaluru.

Among the other prominent candidates are Ministers K.J. George, Roshan Baig, Ramalinga Reddy and Krishna Byre Gowda from the seats they represent in the 14th outgoing legislative assembly from Bengaluru.

Bengaluru Mayor G. Sampathraj will contest from C.V Raman Nagar in the city and former Mayor G. Padmavathi from Rajajinagar suburb.

The party has given tickets to 15 women candidates, including Women and Child Welfare Minster Umashree from Tardal, Lakshmi Ravindra Hebbalkar from Belgaum Rural, Anjali Nimbalkar from Khanapur, Soumya R. from Jayanagar and Sushma Rajgopal Reddy from Bommanahalli.

Other women nominees are Kirtana Rudra Gowda from Belur, Shakunthala T. Shetty from Puttur, M.C. Mohan Kumari from Gundlupet,, K. Fatima from Gulbarga North, Motamma from Mudigere, Vani Krishnareddy from Chintamani, Roopa Sasidhar from Kolar Gold Field, Sharada Mohan Shetty from Kumta and A.L. Pushpa from Jagalur.

The party is yet to name candidates for Shantinagar segment in Bengaluru Central, Kittar, Nagthan, Sindgi, Raichur and Melukote.

The Congress returned to power after a decade in 2013, winning 122 seats and Siddaramaiah breaking a 40-year-old record to complete the five-year term as Chief Minister.

The opposition BJP released its first list of 72 candidates on April 8, while Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) named 126 nominees on March 27.

Vote count is on May 15.

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