Yeddyurappa said that the process would begin within the next couple of months.

BJP candidates for 2018 Ktaka polls to be picked based on survey by private firm says BSY
news Politics Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 13:47

With the Assembly elections approaching, the BJP is gearing up to ensure a win in Karnataka - one of the state’s where the Congress has managed to retain power.

Karnataka state BJP President, BS Yeddyurappa, on Monday, said that a survey would be conducted by a private company to ensure that the right candidates are offered tickets to the 2018 assembly polls. Despite Siddaramaiah’s statement that there will be no early polls, the BJP leader said that the party is preparing for early elections.

Besides predicting early polls, Yeddyurappa told the media that sitting legislators from rival parties were willing to join the BJP to contest in the upcoming elections.

“Things are being planned very carefully. A survey needs to be conducted to figure out who the best available candidate is for the said constituencies and a private company is undertaking that task," Yeddyurappa said.

“Our workers are on a Vistarak Yojna (Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Vistarak Yojana). Once they come back we will get the feedback from them and a survey will be conducted for the party’s benefit,” he added.

Yeddyurappa said that the process would begin within the next couple of months. “The survey will be held throughout the state to get a correct picture and find out our probable candidates,” he added.

Meanwhile, a BJP source said that former health minister and Bellari MP B Sriramulu is all set to contest forthcoming state assembly election.

“The BJP national high command wants him to contest from Bellari rural constituency. Other MPs, Shobha Karandlaje, Pratap Simha and PC Mohan have also expressed their desire to contest in the 2018 assembly election but the national leadership has informed party leaders that none of the sitting MPs will be given tickets in the assembly election,” the source added.

However, BJP is planning to make an exception for Sriramulu to obtain the votes of the ST in Hyderabad-Karnataka region, which is dominated by Lingayat and Valmiki votes.

“Party think-tanks have suggested to the national leaders that the Lingayat plus the Valmiki vote bank is the winning combination in assembly segments in this belt,” the source added.

In May, BJP’s Karnataka unit made news after media reports of a “secret survey” being conducted through a private agency at the behest of BJP chief Amit Shah in the 224 assembly constituencies in the state, based on which the saffron party's election plan, including selection of candidates, was likely to be finalised.

Yeddyurappa also stated that several sitting legislators from the Congress party were keen on switching over to the BJP just six months before the Assembly polls.

“Many of them are approaching us, the only problem they have is if they join the party now, the development in their constituency would stop as elections are approaching, and by-polls will have to be held. They want to join when six months are left for assembly elections to avoid any by-polls,” Yeddyurappa added.

The veteran BJP leader claimed that certain MLAs from ruling Congress also wanted to join the BJP, but did not mention any names.

“Many have expressed interest. We want to encourage them in areas where we don't have good candidates. We don’t want to promise a ticket to everyone who defects,” he added.