Bengaluru: The BJP high command announced the names of four candidates for the Legislative Council elections in Karnataka scheduled on June 29.

Four former ministers R Shankar, MTB Nagaraj, Prathap Simha Nayak and Sunil Vallyapure were nominated by the party late on Wednesday night (June 17).

Thursday (June 18) is the last date for filing of nomination for the Legislative Council elections necessitated due to the retirement of seven sitting members.

Of the seven seats, the BJP can easily win four seats, the Congress two and the JD(S) one seat given their strength in the Assembly.

The ruling BJP has 116 members excluding Speaker, Congress has 68 and the JD(S) has 34 members in the Assembly.

The party opted to give ticket to Shankar as promised and opted to field Nagaraj but yet again snubbed AH Vishwanath. 

Nayak hails from Dakshina Kannada district while Vallyapur is from Kalaburagi and a former minister.

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Shankar, Nagaraj and Vishwanath were the rebel Congress and the JD(S) MLAs who had resigned from the Karnataka Assembly to collapse the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in June 2019 and helped the BJP government led by B S Yediyurappa come to power in the state.

Later, 16 of the 17 rebels joined the BJP, of which 15 had contested the by-elections in December including Nagaraj and Vishwanath, who lost the bypolls.

Shankar was not fielded in the Assembly bypolls with a promise that he would be made an MLC and a minister later.

As the MLC elections neared, Nagaraj and Vishwanath renewed efforts to secure ministerial berths through the legislative council.

Apparently, Vishwanath’s hopes have been dashed with the announcement of the list of candidates.

The Legislative Council elections have been necessitated as the term of seven members, Naseer Ahmed, Jayamma, MC Venugopal, NS Bose Raju, HM Revanna (all Congress), TA Sharavana (JD(S) and independent DU Mallikarjuna, will end on June 30.