Karnataka elections: BJP’s 2nd candidate list released, Gali Somashekara Reddy to contest from Ballari
New Delhi: Gali Somashekara Reddy, one of three Reddy brothers who own the Obulapuram Mining Company, was on Monday named as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Ballari city constituency for upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka.
The BJP’s central election committee released a list of 82 names that includes Reddy, brother of Gali Janardhana Reddy, the kingpin of the alleged iron ore mining scam that contributed to the removal of then chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa in 2011 and eventual downfall of the BJP in the 2013 elections.
In total, the BJP has so far announced candidates for 154 constituencies for the 12 May assembly polls, with another 70 to go for the 224-member assembly. Monday’s list also includes BJP chief B.S Yeddyurappa loyalists who followed their leader into the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) in 2013.
The BJP’s list comes a day after the Congress party announced a list of 218 candidates in one of the few states still under its rule. The third party in the fray, Janata Dal (Secular) has also named candidates for 126 constituencies.
Somashekara’s candidature comes as no surprise after the BJP lost Anand Singh, another mining baron, to the Congress.
The BJP has fielded B.Sreeramulu, a close aide of the Reddy brothers from Molakalmuru in Chitradurga district, away from Ballari city from where he won last time on a Badavara Shramikara Raitara Congress Party (BSRCP) ticket.
Of the 154 candidates the BJP has named so far, there are only three women and no Muslim or Christian candidates. The latest list includes former ministers Katta Subramanya Naidu and S.N.Krishnaiah Setty, both accused of graft, and Hartal Halappa, who was accused of rape—contesting from Shivaji Nagar, Malur and Sagar constituencies respectively. The Congress have used the names of Setty, Naidu and Yeddyurappa to highlight the allegations of corruption that marked BJP rule in the state from 2008-2013.
Sorab in Shimoga will see two brothers fight it out after the BJP named Kumar Bangarappa to take on his estranged brother Madhu Bangarappa of the JD (S) - both sons of former Karnataka chief minister late S.Bangarappa.
Harshavardhan, son-in-law of V.Srinivas Prasad, a former minister and friend-turned-foe of Siddaramaiah will contest from Nanjangud, a seat lost by the latter in the April 2017 bypolls.
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