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BENGALURU: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday approved four candidates for the legislative council bypolls in Karnataka - Prathap Simha Nayak, N.Nagaraju (M.T.B), R.Shankar, and Sunil Valyapure.

The Central leadership dropped the proposal made by chief minister B.S.Yediyurappa to include A.H.Vishwanath, adding to the strain between the two sides.

The Centre, however, accepted the proposal to include Nagaraju and Shankar, who along with Vishwanath and others had helped bring down the H.D.Kumaraswamy-led coalition government and installed Yediyurappa-led BJP government in power last year.

Dropping Vishwanath, the former Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) president, could add to the problems of the 11-month-old government of Yediyurappa that has seen disgruntlement brewing in recent months over cabinet berths as well the functioning style of the chief minister among other issues.

It also fueled speculation of Centre’s growing rift with Yediyurappa and the former undermining the chief minister’s power again. Centre had dropped all names backed by the state BJP core committee even for the Rajya Sabha polls last week.

Nagaraju had lost his Hoskote seat in the December bypolls while Shankar was asked not to contest from Rannebennur.

Nayak is the former district BJP president of Dakshina Kannada while Valyapure had helped Umesh Jadhav beat Congress heavyweight Mallikarjun Kharge in Kalaburagi last year.

The nomination to the upper house is only one part of the solution to keep dissent under control since at least two of them (Nagaraju and Shankar) nurse aspirations to be included in the state cabinet.

Dropping Vishwanath may see some backlash from the turncoats as well as a section of the old guard who have demanded to be included into the state cabinet.

The legislative council polls are scheduled for 29 June. JD(S) on Thursday approved the candidature of Inchara Govindaraj as its candidate for the one possible seat it can win out of the seven vacancies in the upper house.

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