The BJP today announced 82 candidates, including elder brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy and son of late chief minister S Bangarappa, for the Karnataka Assembly polls, taking to 154 the number of constituencies for which it has declared its nominees.Polls for the 224-member Assembly are scheduled on May 12. In the second list released today, the BJP has fielded Reddy’s elder brother G Somashekar Reddy from Bellary City while Kumar Bangarappa will contest from Sorab. G Janardhan Reddy is an an accused in illegal mining case. Krishnaiah Setty, an old associate of Yeddyurappa, has been fielded from from Malur. Among the seats for which the party is yet to announce candidates is Varuna, for which Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra is seen as a strong contender.The Congress has fielded Siddaramaiah’s son Yatheendra from Varuna, currently held by the chief minister who has shifted to Chamundeshwari. The BJP has not announced its candidate against the chief minister. The BJP released the list a day after its central election committee met here to finalise the names of its candidates for the high-stakes election. The BJP on April 8 had declared its first list of 72 nominees that included its chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, and senior leaders K S Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar. The Congress had yesterday released its list of 218 candidates.The BJP was reduced to 40 seats in the last assembly polls in 2013 in which the Congress had won 122 seats. JD(S) led by Deve Gowda had also won 40 seats.Also readRevolt in Karnataka Congress? Senior leader says Siddaramaiah an outsider as discontent over ticket distribution growsYeddyurappa had floated his own party, Karnataka Janata Paksha, in the last elections after he was removed as chief minister by the BJP over graft charges. The Lingayat leader, however, merged his party with the BJP in 2014. He is contesting from Shikaripura in the upcoming polls. The BJP is making an all-out bid to oust the Congress from power in the southern state. The BJP’s second list of candidates for the Karnataka assembly elections on May 12 contains at least five names with a tainted past.The list, comprising 82 names, has candidates, who were acquitted in corruption, forgery, cheating and rape cases. At least two of them had spent quite some time in jail on charges of cheating and forgery. The names that have raised eyebrows are Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Setty who were jailed in land scams but acquitted later.Setty, who will contest from Malur, was BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa’s companion in jail as he was a co-accused in a multi-crore land scam in 2011.On the other hand, Katta Subramanya Naidu, who has been given ticket from Shivajinagar constituency, was jailed on charges of a land scam involving his firm Itasca in 2011. The charges against Naidu were that as a minister, he knew about an industrial project of the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Authority near Kempegowda International Airport and tried to make a windfall gain by entering into an agreement with the land losers.Though the BJP national president Amit Shah denied any relationship with mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, the party gave ticket to his brother G Somashekhara Reddy to fight from Ballari city. He was an accused in the cash for bail scam to get his jailed brother mining baron Janardhana Reddy released on bail.Somashekhara Reddy was accused of trying to bribe a judge. The party gave ticket to Haratalu Halappa to contest from Sagar constituency. He has been acquitted in a rape case. He was accused of raping his friend’s wife in Shivamogga in 2009. The court dismissed the case for want of evidence. M P Renukacharya, who will fight the electoral battle from Honnalli, was accused of sexually harassing a nurse when he was a minister in Yeddyurappa’s ministry. The minister later said the nurse withdrew cases against him.The BJP has also given ticket to party-hopper N L Narendra Babu, who was with the Congress. Babu had been hinting at his entry for the past six months. He had even attended the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Dharma Sansad at Udupi last year. In power from 2008 to 2013, BJP is hoping to unseat the Congress government and stage a comeback

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Karnataka Election 2018: Several controversial picks in BJP’s second list of candidates