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Political parties in the state have adopted different methods to ensure they hand out assembly elections tickets to only those who are ‘serious’ about their poll prospects and have the ‘hunger’ to win. From charging a stiff fee from applicants to a referral system and from seeking ground-level support to involving a search committee, all parties are looking at candidates who can win.
The Congress had gone the fee way, charging Rs 25,000 per application for general category candidates, Rs 15,000 for SC/ST and Rs 1 lakh for ministers. The Congress has reportedly mobilised Rs 6 crore through applications alone.
The JD(S), being a regional party and considered to be in a ‘league’ below the two national parties in the fray in terms of the parties’ finances, is charging Rs 20,000 per ticket for general category candidates and Rs 15,000 per SC/ST and women candidates. The party has given out 378 applications till date.
The BJP, on the other hand, has adopted a ‘referral system’ to select their candidates. The party will select candidates based on “references” given by its Mandal committees in all the 224 assembly segments. The Mandal committees will refer candidates to the district committees, who will scrutinize applications and references and send them on to the state-level committee.
BJP aspirants are also facing intense competition from aspirants of the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) and Badavara Shamikara Raithara (BSR) Congress. The founder-leaders of these parties — B S Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu respectively — returned to the BJP fold and their cadres have merged with the saffron outfit.
For smaller political outfits like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), finding suitable candidates has raised problems of a different sort. “With our stringent scrutiny processes, and our stand of not allowing people with criminal backgrounds to stand from the party, we are dependent on our search committees to identify ideal candidates,” said Prithvi Reddy, AAP co-convenor.
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