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BJP announces names for Bihar polls, skips Karnataka

By Express News Service

BENGALURU:  The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday announced names of its candidates for the second phase Assembly elections in Bihar and bypolls in five states. There was, however, no announcement of candidates for the two seats in Karnataka — Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar. 

The party released the names after its Central Election Committee met under the leadership of its national president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Saturday to zero in on candidates for the upcoming polls. While names of 46 candidates for second phase polls in Bihar and candidates for 16 seats going to bypolls in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Manipur and Odisha were announced, Karnataka found no mention. 

The Karnataka State Core Committee shortlisted the names for the two seats up for the bypolls more than ten days ago. Given the tough time the party is facing in convincing cadres to work with Congress import-turned-party’s probable candidate N Muniratna, the Central leadership is said to be considering waiting till the last minute to announce the names. 

State BJP leaders worry that given the ground support for Tulasi Muniraju Gowda — the BJP candidate in 2018, the Central leadership might take the route it did while announcing the Bengaluru South MP candidate in 2019 — waiting till the eve of the last day to file the nominations. 

The last date to file nominations for the upcoming polls to Sira and RR Nagar is October 16. The delay on BJP’s side comes even as Congress has already announced its candidates and distributed B forms. Meanwhile, supporters of N Muniratna and Tulasi Muniraju Gowda have started door-to-door campaigning for their respective leaders. The JDS, too, delaying its candidate announcement for RR Nagar has given rise to speculation that Muniraju Gowda may contest from JDS if denied a ticket from the BJP.

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