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BJP forms panel for Karnataka assembly polls

PTI | Bengaluru |

The BJP’s Karnataka unit has constituted a 17-member manifesto committee in the run up to the state Assembly election due early next year.

The committee is headed by former minister and MLA from the city S Suresh Kumar.

MPs Shivakumar Udasi and L Prabhakar Kore, and MLAs Basavaraj Bommai, Lakshamana Savadi and Ashwathnarayan, are members of the committee.

The party, which has announced its state unit president B S Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate, has set a target to win 150 seats in the 2018 Assembly polls.

The ruling Congress has not announced its chief ministerial candidate yet, but has said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will lead the party in the polls.

JDS will be led by former chief minister and party’s state unit president H D Kumaraswamy.

In the current Assembly, out of total 225 seats with one nominated member, the Congress has 123 MLAs, BJP 44, JD(S) 40, and rest are from smaller parties and independents.

According to BJP sources, Yeddyurappa is likely to contest from a constituency in a north Karnataka district this time, with an intention to attract more votes towards the party from the region.

Shikaripura in Shivamogga district is Yeddyurappa’s constituency.

Sounding the poll bugle in the state, BJP president Amit Shah had on a visit to the state in August declared that the party stands united.

He is scheduled to visit Mangaluru tomorrow.

Shah’s call for unity within the state unit had come amid the open bickerings between some of the party leaders until recently that had embarrassed the party.

Yeddyurappa had come under criticism from a section of partymen over his alleged “arbitrary style” of functioning with another senior leader K S Eshwarappa openly flagging the issue until both were told to shun open display of differences.