“The JD(S) is also the first to launch its campaign in Bengaluru on a positive note, while the two national parties are indulging in negative campaigns through mudslinging,” said N V Krishnakumar, vice-president and spokesperson of Bengaluru Mahanagara JDS).).
In Rajarajeswarinagar, party supremo H D Deve Gowda’s grandson Prajwal Revanna is trying for the ticket in the face of resentment from his uncle and party state chief H D Kumaraswamy. In Chamarajpet and Pulikeshnagar, the party is struggling to find winnable candidates. And MLAs from these two constituencies deserted JD(S) to join the Congress, reducing the party’s strength in the city to just one.
Having won 12 seats in the city in the last elections, the BJP is using all its resources to improve its tally. Party sources said while all sitting MLAs would be retained, a draft list of candidates with more options for most remaining constituencies is ready.
Former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu has emerged as a potential candidate from Shivajinagar, where Nirmalkumar Surana is a contender. For Chamarajpet, the party has reportedly shortlisted Lahari Velu, an entrepreneur from the music industry, and B V Ganesh, who was defeated in 2013.
In Chickpet, former MLA Hemachandra Sagar, Uday Garudachar and former corporator N R Ramesh have been short-listed. Shilpa Ganesh, wife of actor Ganesh, is a strong candidate for RR Nagar, where former corporator Muniraju is an aspirant. Actor-turned politician Jaggesh’s name is doing rounds for Yeshwanthpur.
BJP leaders said the election committee headed by national leaders will start the final selection on Monday. “The committee will send the names to the high command and the final list is expected by March-end,” said N Ravikumar, BJP general secretary.
The Congress, which won 13 seats in the city last time around, has sent its trusted pointsman Madhusudan Mistry to interview aspirants. Mistry is learnt to have received about 250 applications from the aspirants for the constituencies in the city. Chamrajpet with 15 applications is the highest. Party leaders said most sitting MLAs will be retained. Actor-politician Ramya’s name is doing the rounds for Basavanagudi, while in Jayanagar, minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Soumya Reddy is tipped to be the candidate.
“The critera for selection are winnability and social justice. The list will be finalised after Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the state later this month,” said KPCC general secretary B S Shivanna.