Following the release of the caste survey report by the Bihar government, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav expressed his support for it and called on the (BJP) to set aside politics and conduct a nationwide caste census.
With Karnataka Assembly elections scheduled to be held next month, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold its Central Election Committee meeting on Sunday, said sources.
According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP chief JP Nadda, party general secretary B L Santhosh and members of the party’s Central Election Committee will be present at the meeting. Earlier on Saturday, Shah held a meeting at BJP president Nadda’s residence in the national capital to discuss and finalise the list of candidates for the May 10 polls.
Karnataka BJP president Nalinkumar Kateel, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and other leaders were also present at Nadda’s residence.
Party sources said the core group of the BJP in Karnataka have shortlisted three names for each Assembly seat, which will be placed before the Central Election Committee. The party’s central leadership will brainstorm these names before locking the candidates.
On April 4, the BJP’s core group in Karnataka drew up a shortlist of candidates in a meeting with the party’s national general secretary Arun Singh, state election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan, co-in-charge Mansukh Mandaviya, Central Election Committee member Annamalai, former chief minister Yediyurappa and his successor and incumbent Basavaraj Bommai.
The BJP emerged as the largest single party in the last Assembly elections, winning 104 seats, with the Congress winning 80 and the JD(S) 37 seats.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had on March 29 this year announced the poll schedule for the election of the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The counting of votes for the Assembly will be held on May 13.
The term of the current Karnataka Legislative Assembly is set to end on May 24, this year.
Earlier, speaking to reporters, Bommai said a discussion over the selection of candidates for 224 Assembly constituencies will take place at the core committee meeting of the BJP.
“Today, an important meeting is to be held under the guidance of BJP national president JP Nadda. During this meeting, a discussion over candidate selection for 224 assembly seats will be done. And tomorrow Parliamentary board of the party is also meeting,” the Karnataka chief minister said.
BJP is yet to declare its candidates for the polls.
Congress MP Surjewala on Friday, at a press briefing in Delhi, said his party had announced most of the seats, “but the BJP could not declare a single seat. I want to ask JP Nadda, why are you scared? Do JP Nadda, PM Modi, Amit Shah and CM Bommai think that announcement of seats will lead to issues in the party?”
Chief Minister Bommai hit back saying that the principal Opposition party in Karnataka could not find candidates for many seats and eventually got them from other parties.
Former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader BS Yediyurappa on Friday said the party would soon finalise the list of candidates for the Assembly elections.
The only southern state where the BJP is in power, Karnataka is currently witnessing a high-pitched poll campaign as the saffron party bids to retain their hold of the state.
A top BJP source said the ruling party has planned to carpet-bomb the state with campaigns featuring heavyweights.
“The names of 40-star campaigners have also been decided for Karnataka. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Goa CM Pramod Sawant, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and several Union ministers like Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman have been included in the list. All have been asked to give two weeks’ time in the poll-bound state,” he added.
Congress and Janata Dal-Secular have announced 166 and 93 candidates respectively, so far, for the Karnataka polls.