BJP finalises 72 candidates for Karnataka polls

New Delhi, April 9  The BJP on Sunday released the first list of 72 candidates to contest in the May 12 elections in Karnataka to select the state’s 224-member assembly.

“The central election committee of the party has decided the first 72 names for the ensuing Karnataka legislative assembly elections,” said the BJP’s state unit in a statement here.

The top selection body, which consists of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, among others, decided that party’s chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyyurappa would contest from Shikaripura Assembly constituency.

Earlier in the day, the six-time legislature from Afzalpur Malikayya Guttedar joined BJP here in presence of senior leaders at party headquarters.

Guttedar, a powerful OBC leader in Gulbarga district, was earlier a minister in Congress government. He would now contest from Afzalpur Assembly constituency.

Former Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa would contest from Shimoga Assembly constituency.

Eshwarappa became Deputy Chief Minister in July 2012 following the resignation of D.V. Sadananda Gowda.

In the 2013 Assembly elections, Eshwarappa contested again from the Shimoha assembly constituency and lost to K.B. Prasanna Kumar of the Congress by a margin of nearly 6,000 votes.

However, he was nominated by his party to the Karnataka Legislative Council in 2014 and became the Leader of the Opposition in the council.