BJP may drop Karnataka leader from second list over Constitution remark: Sources

The BJP Central Election Committee on Monday held its second meeting ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to decide the second list of candidates. According to sources, Karnataka MP Ananthkumar Hedge, who recently made a controverisal remark on changing the Constitution, is likely to be dropped from the list.
BJP may drop Karnataka leader from second list over Constitution remark: Sources
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

The BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) held its second meeting on Monday to decide on the second list of candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. As many as 99 seats of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Chandigarh, were discussed. According to sources, the party is likely to drop Ananthkumar Hedge from Uttara Kannada constituency amid a row over his remarks on changing the Constitution of India, sources said.

The BJP has distanced itself from Hegde's remarks, saying in a tweet that his views "do not reflect the party's stance".

Besides Hedge, many other legislators are likely to be dropped from the southern state. According to the sources, Union Minister Shoba Karandlaje, who is currently the Udupi Chikmangalore MP, is likely to be moved to the Bangalore North seat. The party received a lot of backlash from the party, with some writing to BJP National President JP Nadda, asking him not to give her a ticket.

Others who are likely to be dropped include Pratap Simha from Mysuru, former Union Minister GM Siddeshwara from Davangere, Yarabasi Devendrappa from Bellary, Karadi Sanganna Amarappa from Koppal, and ex-state BJP President and Mangaluru MP Nalin Kumar Kateel.

During Monday's meeting, several senior party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, went through a list of probable choices who could make it to the final list. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda have held a series of meetings with leaders of various states to prepare a list of probables before the CEC takes a final call.

Earlier this month, the BJP released its first list of 195 candidates, which included several heavy weights such as PM Modi from Varanasi, Amit Shah from Gujarat's Gandhinagar, and Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from Bhopal's Guna. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was fielded from Vidisha constituency.

The list did not feature Union Railways Minister Nitin Gadkari, causing Shiv Sena (UBT) supremo Uddhav Thackeray to jab the BJP. Thackeray also proposed Gadkari to quit the BJP and shift to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), promising an election ticket to him from Maharashtra. However, BJP leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Gadkari's name would feature in the party's list from the western state.

Meanwhile, ahead of Monday's CEC meeting, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala held talks with the BJP supremo JP Nadda about distribution of seats among the two allies in the state. The JJP allied with the BJP after the Haryana Assembly elections in 2019. The BJP had won all 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2019 general polls.

In Andhra Pradesh, the BJP has joined hands with Chandrababu Naidu-headedTelugu Desam Party (TDP) and Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party (JSP) for the upcoming Lok Sabha as well as Assembly elections in the southern state. The allies settled on a seat-sharing agreement, which would see the BJP contesting six Lok Sabha seats, while the TDP and JSP have been given 17 and two seats, respectively.

Chandrababu Naidu's TDP made a return to the BJP-led NDA after quitting the alliance in 2018.

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BJP may drop Karnataka leader from second list over Constitution remark: Sources

Pawan Singh withdrew his nomination from Bengal's Asansol after his nomination triggered a massive row as many pointed out that his discography featured inappropriate references to Bengali women. Upendra Rawat opted out of Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki constituency after a purported video of him in a compromising position with a woman of foreign origin went viral

Source: India Today

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