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BJP names 4 for Karnataka Council bypolls


Bengaluru:  The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominated Prathap Simha Nayak, M.T.B. Nagaraj, R. Shankar and Sunil Valyapure to contest in the June 29 biennial elections for 4 of the 7 Karnataka legislative Council seats, an official said.

"Our high command selected 3 of the 4 candidates the state core committee recommended on Tuesday, excluding H.R. Vishwanath, a former Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) rebel, who lost in the December 5 Assembly by-elections from Hunsur in Mysuru district on a BJP ticket," a party official told IANS here.

Nagaraj, a former Congress rebel, who also lost in the Assembly by-election from Hoskote in Bengaluru Rural district on a BJP ticket, was the state housing minister in the 14-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government, which fell on July 23, 2019 after 17 of their rebels resigned then.

Shankar, who was an Independent and a minister in the former coalition government, was not given the BJP ticket to contest in the December Assembly bypolls though he too resigned from the Ranebennur assembly seat in Haveri district, about 340km northwest of Bengaluru, along with former Congress and JD-S rebels.

Valyapure is the party's grass-root leader from Chincholi in Gulbarga district in the state's northern region, about 586km from Bengaluru.

Valyapure extensively campaigned in the May 2019 general elections and ensured the victory of BJP candidate Umesh Yadav from the reserved Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat, defeating Congress senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

Nayak is also the party's grassroot cadre who rose from the ranks to become its Dakshina Kannada district president in the state's coastal region.

As the ruling party has 116 legislators in the 225-member Assembly, all its 4 candidates will need 28 votes each to win the contest.

Of the 7 outgoing Council members, 5 are from the Congress and one each from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and an Independent.

With 68 lawmakers, the Congress will be able to retain 2 seats and the JD-S one as it has only 34 legislators in the lower house.

The Congress has nominated its outgoing Rajya Sabha member B.K. Hariprasad and outgoing Council member Naseer Ahmed to contest for 2 Council seats.

Of the 75-member Council, the opposition Congress has 37, BJP 19, JD-S 16, two Independents and one Chairman.

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News Summary - BJP names 4 for Karnataka Council bypolls
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