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Yeddyurappa Files Nomination Papers From Shikaripura

Yeddyurappa had steered the BJP to victory and formed the party's first-ever government in the South in 2008.

Bengaluru, Apr 19 (PTI) Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, his colleague and former Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa, and senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar today filed nominations for the May 12 assembly polls in the state.

Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, filed the papers from his traditional Shikaripura constituency in Shivamogga district in the presence of Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Union ministers Ananth Kumar and Ramesh Jigajinagi.

The BJP has set its sight on regaining power by winning 150 out of 224 assembly seats.

Yeddyurappa had steered the BJP to victory and formed the party’s first-ever government in the South in 2008.

He was forced to resign as chief minister in 2011 over graft charges, following which he quit the party to form his own outfit, Karnataka Janata Party, which failed to make a mark except to cause damage to the BJP’s prospects in the 2013 polls.

He returned to the BJP after Narendra Modi was declared the party’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Council, Eshwarappa also filed his papers from Shivamogga in the presence of former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

A Kuruba leader, Eshwarappa, who has served as BJP state president in the past, had last year led a battle against Yeddyuappa’s “unilateral” style of functioning by leading ‘Rayanna Brigade’, an “apolitical forum” of Dalits and backward classes.

The BJP central leadership had stepped in and brought about a rapprochement between the two squabbling leaders.

Eshwarappa had lost the 2013 assembly election.

From the Congress’s side, Power Minister and strong Vokkaliga leader D K Shivakumar filed his nomination from Kanakapura.

He was accompanied by his brother and Member of Parliament D K Suresh and other family members.

The I-T department had on August 2 last year conducted searches at various properties linked to Shivakumar, who had hosted 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs at a resort to forestall alleged attempts by the BJP to poach them ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls there.

The searches had kicked up a political row with the ruling Congress alleging misuse of the I-T department by the central government to target its leaders.

BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka from Padmanabhanagar, Environment minister Ramanath Rai from Bantwal and former Chief Minister Bangarappa’s son and JD(S) sitting MLA Madhu Bangarappa from Soraba are among those who have filed their nominations today.

The filing of the nominations began on Tuesday.

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