BJP’s Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti on Tuesday filed their nomination as party candidates for June 19 Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka.
They filed their papers at the office of Legislative Assembly Secretary M K Vishalakshi, who is the returning officer for the polls, in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel and Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi among other leaders.
Ahead of filing nomination, Mr Kateel gave “B-form” to both the candidates at the party headquarters in Bengaluru.
The BJP’s central leadership on Monday had sprung a surprise by fielding Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti as its candidates for the Rajya Sabha election, ignoring the recommendations of the party state unit.
The state BJP’s core committee on Saturday had recommended three names to high command as probable candidates-Ramesh Katti, the brother of senior MLA Umesh Katti, incumbent Prabhakar Kore and hotelier Prakash Shetty.
However, BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday ahead of filing nomination said that the central leadership of BJP had discussed with him before finalising the names of candidates.
“…from our core committee (state) we had sent some names, but ultimately our national president spoke to me and said it has been decided to give tickets to ordinary party workers, we discussed it, and after discussion the two names have been finalised,” he said.
While, Mr Kadadi, a Lingayat is party’s Belagavi division in-charge; Mr Gasti from Savitha Samaj (barber community) from Raichur district is party in-charge for the Bellary division.
Both are with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad background and have worked for the organisation at the grass root level for decades.
Some within the BJP see the move by high command as an indication that loyalty to the party and ideology is what matters, and a clear message to state leadership.
They also see it as part of a strategy to nurture and elevate second-rung leaders.
Election is scheduled on June 19 to fill four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka, represented by Rajeev Gowda and BK Hariprasad of Congress, Prabhakar Kore of the BJP and D Kupendra Reddy of JD(S) that will fall vacant on June 25, with their retirement.
The BJP, with 117 members in the assembly (including Speaker), can ensure easy victory in two seats.