Senior leader and former deputy CM Laxman Savadi quits party in protest after being denied ticket
A day after it announced the first list of candidates, the discontent in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came out in the open when senior leader and former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi quit the party.
“I have certainly made a decision. I have decided to resign from the primary membership of the party,” Savadi said on Wednesday, April 12.
A three-time MLA from Athani, Savadi’s name was missing from the first list when it was announced late last evening.
It is also being speculated that Savadi must have preempted his dropping as he is said to be in talks with Congress to make a switch.
Congress state chief DK Shivakumar, however, denied any such knowledge. “He is neither in touch with me nor has he spoken with me,” Shivakumar said.
Incidentally, the man who was given the ticket to fight from Athani is none other than former Congress leader Mahesh Kumathahalli, who had beaten Savadi in the 2018 assembly election.
Savadi is considered a loyalist of former CM BS Yediyurappa. He is also one of the most powerful Lingayat leaders in the state and is known for his organisational skills.
Savadi was instrumental in orchestrating the mass defections from the Congress-Janata Dal Secular government. He was rewarded for his role with an MLC ticket.
Savadi was also caught in the infamous video clip controversy, where he was seen watching porn along with fellow minister CC Patil inside the assembly.
The BJP released its first list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections last night.
The list features 189 candidates, of which 52 are contesting for the first time. Among the new candidates are 32 from Other Backward Classes (OBC), 20 from Scheduled Castes (SC), and 16 from Scheduled Tribes (ST) communities.
The announcement also revealed that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will contest from the Shiggaon constituency. Additionally, BY Vijayendra, the son of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, will contest from the Shikaripura seat.
Other notable candidates include State Minister B Sriramulu, who will contest from Bellary Rural, and State Health Minister Dr Sudhakar K, who will contest from Chikkaballapur. State Minister Dr Ashwathnarayan CN will contest from the Malleshwaram seat, while Karnataka minister R Ashoka will contest from two seats, Padmanabhanagar and Kanakapura. Ashoka will be pitted against Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar from Kanakapura.
BJP’s Ramesh Jarakiholi has been fielded from his traditional seat of Gokak, while Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri is contesting from Sirsi.
The BJP has also fielded V Somanna from Varuna, who will be contesting against the former chief minister and Congress heavyweight Siddaramaiah. Former Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao, who joined the BJP from the AAP, has been fielded from Chamarajpet.
The BJP’s Central Election Committee met on Sunday, and senior party leaders from the state held discussions to finalize the list by incorporating suggestions made at the meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.