BJP CEC meeting today to finalise candidates for Karnataka Assembly polls

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NEW DELHI: With the Karnataka Assembly elections scheduled to be held next month, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold its central election committee (CEC) meeting on Sunday, sources said.

According to the sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP chief J P Nadda, party general secretary B L Santhosh and members of the party’s CEC 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 Nalin Kumar Kateel, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and other leaders were present .

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 CEC. 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 K Annamalai, former chief minister Yediyurappa and his successor and incumbent CM Basavaraj Bommai.

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 B S 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.

The Congress and Janata Dal-Secular have announced 166 and 93 candidates respectively, so far, for the Karnataka polls. (ANI)

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