Shivamogga, Sep 30 : Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said the Bharatiya Janata Party would field all disqualified MLAs for the by-election for 15 Assembly segments and the party high command has agreed to it .
The 15 constituencies that will go to polls are Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chickballapura, K R Pura, Yeshwanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara, Hosakote, KR Pete, Hunsur. Among the 15 constituencies, 12 were represented by Congress and three by the JD(S). Winning most seats (at least six) in this by-elections is crucial for BJP to stay in power. Absence and resignation of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs during the trust vote had led to the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy headed coalition government in July and helped BJP come to power.
Addressing newspersons in Shikaripur here, Mr Yeedurappa said 'It's because of the resignation submitted by these MLAs, that BJP could form the government in Karnataka. Amit Shah, party national president, has also given nod to fielding the disqualified MLAs,' he said. Referring to the discontent prevailing among a section of BJP leaders over fielding the disqualified MLAs, he said there were few Assembly segments, where their candidates had lost by a slim margin against the disqualified MLAs in the previous Assembly election and they want to contest the by-election.
It has been decided to accommodate such aspirants in Boards and Corporations, he added. Answering a question on his 'tight-rope walking' statement issued in Davangere on Sunday, Mr Yediyurappa said that political meanings should not be attributed to it.
'When members of a Veerashaiva-Lingayat organisation submitted a memorandum in Davangere seeking funds, I told them that as I was receiving requests for funds from other communities also for their development works, but it was difficult to meet the expectations of all.
'In that context, I said that running the government was like walking on a tight rope,' he added.
Even as the fate of the 17 disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court over their eligibility to contest the bypolls in Karnataka. There is growing opposition within the state BJP against giving them tickets.
BJP will need to win at least six seats in the coming by-elections to stay in power.
The ruling party has 104 MLAs and is supported by an independent in the assembly whose current strength is 208 with 17 vacancies.
While the Congress' strength is 66, JD(S) has 34 MLAs in the assembly that also consists of one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.
The actual strength of the assembly is 225 and the half way mark is 113. (UNI)