Lingayats dominate 2nd BJP list,tainted mining baron's brother gets ticket



New Delhi, Apr 16: The BJP today announced 82 candidates, including the elder brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy and son of late chief minister S Bangarappa, for the Karnataka Assembly polls, taking to 154 the number of constituencies for which it has declared its nominees. Polls for the 224-member Assembly are scheduled on May 12.

In the second list released today, the BJP has fielded Reddy's elder brother G Somashekar Reddy from Bellary City while Kumar Bangarappa will contest from Sorab. Krishnaiah Setty, an old associate of Yeddyurappa, has been fielded from Malur. Among the seats for which the party is yet to announce candidates is Varuna, for which Yeddyurappa's son B Y Vijayendra is seen as a strong contender.

The Congress has fielded Siddaramaiah's son Yatheendra from Varuna, currently held by the chief minister who has shifted to Chamundeshwari. The BJP has not announced its candidate against the chief minister.

The BJP released the list a day after its central election committee met here to finalise the names of its candidates for the high-stakes election.

The BJP on April 8 had declared its first list of 72 nominees that included its chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, and senior leaders K S Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar.

The Congress had yesterday released its list of 218 candidates.

The BJP was reduced to 40 seats in the last assembly polls in 2013 in which the Congress had won 122 seats. JD(S) led by Deve Gowda had also won 40 seats.

Yeddyurappa had floated his own party, Karnataka Janata Paksha, in the last elections after he was removed as chief minister by the BJP over graft charges. The Lingayat leader, however, merged his party with the BJP in 2014. He is contesting from Shikaripura in the upcoming polls.

The BJP is making an all-out bid to oust the Congress from power in the southern state.

PTI

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