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Hectic Lobbying Underway in Karnataka BJP for Rajya Sabha Tickets. Will BSY Douse Discontent?

File photo of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

File photo of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

Disgruntled BJP MLA Umesh Katti met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa for the second consecutive day on Thursday and is said to have sought a ticket for his brother Ramesh Katti.

With the terms of four Rajya Sabha members' coming to an end term on June 25, hectic lobbying is underway in the state BJP camp for tickets.

Senior party leader and MLA Umesh Katti met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa for the second consecutive day on Thursday and is said to have sought a ticket for his brother Ramesh Katti who accompanied him to the meeting.

The seat that Katti is eyeing is that of sitting MP Prabhakar Kore, who too is an aspirant. Katti, an eight-time MLA is one of disgruntled leaders in the party and have been grudging about not being given a position in the state cabinet despite his seniority.

Instead, MLAs who defected from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) who helped the BJP come back to power last July have been rewarded by Yediyurappa.

The ruling camp is expected to finalise the names during a core committee meeting on Saturday. Speculations are rife the party may consider the candidatures of Tejaswini Ananthkumar, widow of former Bengaluru south MP Ananth Kumar and Sudha Murty, social activist and writer.

In addition to Kore's seat, two from the Congress -- Rajeev Gowda and BK Hariprasad -- and one from the JD(S) -- Kupendra Reddy -– will fall vacant.

From the Congress, senior leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, Veerappa Moily and KH Muniyappa are probable candidates. Hariprasad too is an aspirant. However, caste and community calculations would come into the decision-making process, said a source in the party.

From the JD(S), the party leadership is pushing for HD Devegowda to contest although he had stated that he would quite electoral politics following his defeat in the last Lok Sabha polls and this might then be seen as a back-door entry to Parliament.

"He is not keen on contesting because of it. He does not want to. But party workers want him to contest. We have no other names," said a source within the JD(S).

The BJP, with its current strength in the Legislative Assembly - 117 of the 225 MLAs -- can win two of the four seats. Elections would be held on June 19 and counting of votes would be done after 5pm on the same day.