With the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP-JDS alliance having announced most of the candidates for the 28 Lok Sabha seats, they are now battling dissent from those who missed out. The BJP, which had won 26 of the 28 seats in the 2019 polls, including an independent backed by it, is surprisingly facing the maximum dissent internally.

The saffron party, which is contesting the polls in an alliance with the regional Janata Dal (Secular), has announced 24 of the 25 seats in its quota, with the remaining 3 seats being allocated to its alliance partner. Of the 24 announced names, it has dropped eleven sitting LS members, creating a lot of heartburn among their supporters.

Sanganna Karadi, BJP’s sitting LS member from Koppal, who has been denied a ticket, speaking to media, said, “‘My supporters want me to contest as an independent due to the injustice done to me. I am considering the same.” He, however, said that he would not join Congress. Similarly, former law minister JC Madhuswamy, who was a contender for the Tumkuru ticket, is upset with the party leadership for ignoring his claim.

The BJP has nominated V Somanna as its candidate in Tumkuru. “He is an outsider to the constituency. How can I ask votes for him? I will take a final decision shortly (on whether to contest as an independent or join another party),” Madhuswamy told the media. 

Former Deputy Chief Minister and erstwhile State Unit President KS Eshwarappa has decided to contest against official BJP candidate BY Raghavendra, the son of BJP Karnataka patriarch BS Yediyurappa. “There is no question of withdrawing from the race even if Modiji asks me,” Eshwarappa has asserted.

The party, however, seems to have swung into action to mollify some of the aspirants who missed tickets. After expressing anger initially, both DV Sadananda Gowda and Pratap Simha, sitting MPs who were denied tickets in Bengaluru North and Mysuru, respectively, have now said that they will not quit the party and support the official candidates.

Dilemma in congress

Congress is facing a similar dilemma too. Most of the tickets announced till now have gone to relatives — either son, daughter, wife or in-laws — of ministers, including Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s son-in-law, Radhakrisha Doddamani, who has been given the Kalaburgi ticket. This has created a lot of anger amongst other aspirants.

Veena Kashappanavar, wife of sitting Congress MLA Vijayanad Kashappanavar, publicly broke down after the Grand Old Party announced that Samyuktha Patil, daughter of cabinet minister Shivanand Patil, would be its candidate. Veena has said that her supporters want her to contest as an independent, as the ‘party has given the ticket to an outsider.’

Solidarity messages

To contain any adverse fallout, the ruling party in the State is trying to reassure those who missed out that they would be provided other opportunities. KPCC Chief and Deputy CM DK Shivakumar has said that he will reach out to those who missed out and sort out any ‘misunderstanding.’

State BJP President BY Vijayendra, too, said, “It is natural for those who may not have gotten the ticket to feel unhappy. However, we will ensure that we fight as a united unit and contribute maximum to strengthen Modiji’s hands.”