bjp: BJP’s first list of candidates for Assembly polls can be expected on April 11: K’taka CM Basaaraj Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basaaraj Bommai on Tuesday said the first list of BJP’s candidates for the May 10 Assembly polls, can be expected to be released today. Party leaders have been holding a series of meetings in New Delhi for the last two days to finalise the list. State BJP strongman and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has indicated that the first list may contain the names of 170-180 candidates.

“The list can be expected today,” Bommai told reporters in New Delhi.

According to party sources, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on his return to the national capital from a visit to Arunachal Pradesh is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Chief Minister and other senior leaders to finalise the list, following which it will be released.

Senior BJP leaders, including from Karnataka had held a daylong deliberation on Monday to finalise candidates for the state assembly polls, incorporating in their discussions the suggestions made at the recent BJP Central Election Committee meeting.

Shah, party president J P Nadda, Bommai, Yediyurappa and other leaders from the state attended these meetings. Shah later left for Arunachal Pradesh while other leaders continued the deliberations.

Bommai had on Sunday said after the CEC meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave some directions. The CM told reporters on Monday that the party is working on various inputs. He, however, did not elaborate on the nature of directions or inputs.

There are speculations that the high command is unhappy with some leaders or legislators seeking tickets for their children too; also some sitting legislators and Ministers may not make it to the list. Too many aspirants is also said to be a cause of concern. The filing of nominations will begin on April 13, with the poll notification being issued, and the last day for filing papers is April 20.

The BJP, aiming to return to power in Karnataka with absolute majority, has set a target of winning at least 150 of the total 224 seats in the Assembly.

While the Congress has already announced a total of 166 candidates, including Karnataka Sarvodaya Party’s Darshan Puttannaiah for whom it has extended support in Melukote constituency, in two lists, JD(S) has announced one list of 93 candidates.

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