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Week left to file papers, BJP yet to announce bypoll candidates 

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The last date to file nomination papers for the upcoming bypolls to Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly constituencies is October 16. With just a week left, the BJP is yet to announce the names of candidates for both seats. The party State Core Committee met on October 1 and shortlisted the names, but ten days down the line, the Central leadership is yet to finalise the names, leaving the aspirants jittery. 

Sources from the BJP Central leadership insisted that the delay is a result of reluctance on the part of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel to raise the issue and continuing to wait for the Central leadership to bring it up for discussion. The two leaders, meanwhile, are busy sorting out differences over the choice of candidates. 

In Rajarajeshwari Nagar, the party is said to be facing difficulties in convincing its former candidate Tulasi Muniraju Gowda to yield his opposition to N Munirathna’s candidature. The bitter fight between the two during the 2018 polls and more importantly, the serious allegation of voter ID fraud levelled by the party against Munirathna, the man that the BJP is likely to make its candidate, is said to have left the cadres miffed. 

“The names will be announced over the weekend, but that does not mean we are late in our preparations. The party has already started its campaign. In BJP, the candidate has to campaign only 20-30 per cent,” a senior office-bearer told The New Indian Express. In Sira, two rounds of talks have already been held with S R Gowda and B K Manjunath, seeking their cooperation to back Dr Rajesh Gowda as the party candidate. Wary of Tulasi Muniraju Gowda opting to contest from a JDS ticket if BJP denies him an opportunity, the Central leadership is being asked to intervene.

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