The Karnataka BJP core committee has decided to recommend three names to the high command as probable candidates for June 19 Rajya Sabha elections, party sources said on Saturday. The state BJP core committee that includes Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and state unit chief Nalin Kumar Kattel among other senior leaders, has shortlisted three names, which will be sent to party high command, sources said.
Two from the list of three will be finalised by the central leadership, they said, adding that the names are- Ramesh Katti, brother of senior MLA Umesh Katti, incumbent MP Prabhakar Kore and hotelier Prakash Shetty.
Election is scheduled on June 19 to fill four seats represented by Rajeev Gowda and BK Hariprasad of Congress, Prabhakar Kore of BJP and D Kupendra Reddy of JD(S) that will fall vacant on June 25 with their retirement.
June 9 is the last date for making nominations.
With 117 members (including the Speaker), BJP can ensure easy victory in two of the four seats.
Along with the ones shortlisted, names of former Union Minister Ananth Kumar's wife Tejaswini and party general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Muralidhar Rao were also doing the rounds.
According to some party leaders, though only two names were to be sent to high command, a list of three is being sent as both Prabhakar Kore and Ramesh Katti, who hail from Belagavi district, were mounting pressure on the party for ticket.
While Kore, considered to be close to some central leaders, is looking for another term.
Umesh Katti, an eight-time MLA, who has been sulking at not being made a minister, had made frantic efforts for his brother Ramesh Katti to be chosen for the Rajya Sabha seat, and had last week held meeting with a section of BJP legislators from north Karnataka that set alarm bells ringing in the ruling party, with talks of dissidence against Yediyurappa's leadership coming out in open.
However, in the last couple of days the Katti brothers repeatedly visited Yediyurappa, including one today- ahead of the core committee meeting, seeking Rajya Sabha ticket.The Congress that can win one seat with 68 MLAs has fielded vetern party leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
With a minimum of 44 votes required for a candidate to win, no party can independently win the fourth seat.
JD(S) which has 34 MLAs in the assembly is not in a position to win a seat on its own, but speculations are rife that Congress may support the regional party with its surplus votes if former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda contests, and may in return seek favour during upcoming MLC polls.