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Karnataka assembly polls: BJP announces first list of candidates | India News

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NEW DELHI: The BJP today announced the first list of 72 candidates who will contest the high stakes Karnataka assembly polls.

The list of names was made public following a meeting of the BJP’s Central Election Committee at the party headquarters in Delhi. The meeting was chaired by party president Amit Shah, and the attendees included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, former
Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, among others.

BJP, which is striving to return to power in Karnataka after a gap of five years, has announced Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate, with a target of winning 150 out of 224 assembly seats. The southern state goes to polls on May 12 to elect its representatives and results will be out on May 15. The party has fielded Yeddyurappa from the Shikaripura seat.

Yeddyurappa was earlier forced to resign as chief minister in 2011 over graft charges, following which he quit the party to form his own outfit, the Karnataka Janata Party, which failed to make a mark except damage BJP’s prospects in 2013 polls.

He returned to BJP following the announcement of Narendra Modi as party’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Unlike in 2013, when BJP was split into factions with Yeddyurappa forming KJP and B Sriramulu of Ballari floating BSR Congress, they are all fighting as an unified force this time around.

The ruling Congress would announce its candidates for all the 224 assembly seats in the state in a “single phase” by April 15.

Meanwhile, Janata Dal Secular has already announced candidates for 126 constituencies. The party is in alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party for Karnataka polls.

With polling day inching closer, Karnataka has turned into a political battleground with both the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP extensively campaigning across the state.

(With PTI inputs)

Updated: April 8, 2018 — 5:14 pm

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