Weeks ahead of the Assembly elections in Karnataka, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader KS Eshwarappa on Tuesday announced his decision to quit electoral politics.
Responding to the development, BJP leader Chalavadi T Narayanswamy said that it is a welcome decision by a senior leader.
Speaking to ANI, he said, "He (Narayanswamy) has served the party for 40-45 years. Now, it is his decision. He believes that youth have to come up and take the responsibility. They want new blood in politics".
Halady Srinivas Shetty has also backed away from candidature: Narayanswamy
Narayanswamy also said that another BJP leader Halady Srinivas Shetty has backed away from candidature in the upcoming elections.
"Not just him, Halady Srinivas Shetty, who wants to continuously win elections, has also backed away from candidature. He (Halady Srinivas Shetty) has asked the party to field whomever they want. Such decisions are taken by senior leaders in the interest of the party and the country," he added.
On being asked, if his son KE Kantesh will be getting the ticket from that seat, Narayanswamy said that only the high command can take that decision.
"We don't know about that. Only the party high command will decide whether to accommodate his (Eshwarappa) son or not," he said.
As per the sources, some more senior party leaders may quit electoral politics ahead of the ticket announcement.
Eshwarappa withdrew from electoral politics
Earlier in the day, BJP MLA from Shivamogga, KS Eshwarappa said that he would not contest the Karnataka Assembly Elections scheduled next month.
In a letter to BJP president JP Nadda, Eshwarappa said, "I am withdrawing from electoral politics." "The party gave me a lot of responsibilities in the last 40 years, from a booth in charge to the state party chief. I also had the honour of becoming Deputy Chief Minister. Thank you so much." He added in the letter.
Earlier on Sunday, senior BJP leaders arrived at the party headquarters in the national capital to attend the Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting for the Karnataka Assembly elections scheduled to be held next month.
BJP is yet to declare any list of candidates for the upcoming polls.
Union Minister Amit Shah on April 8, held a meeting at BJP president Nadda's residence in the national capital to discuss and finalise the list of candidates for the state polls.
Party sources said the core group of the BJP in Karnataka have shortlisted three names for each Assembly seat, which will be placed before the Central Election Committee. The party's central leadership will brainstorm these names before locking the candidates.
BJP core group has drew up a shortlist of candidates
BJP's core group on April 4, drew up a shortlist of candidates in a meeting with the party's national general secretary Arun Singh, state election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan, co-in-charge Mansukh Mandaviya, Central Election Committee member Annamalai, former chief minister Yediyurappa and his successor and incumbent Basavaraj Bommai.
Karnataka, which is the only southern state where BJP is in power, is currently witnessing a high-pitched poll campaign as the saffron party bids to retain their hold of the state.
A top BJP source said the ruling party has planned to carpet-bomb the state with campaigns featuring heavyweights.
In 2018, BJP emerged as the largest single party in the last Assembly elections, winning 104 seats, with the Congress winning 80 and the JD(S) 37 seats.
The term of the current Karnataka Legislative Assembly is set to end on May 24, this year. Assembly elections for 224 seats of Karnataka are slated to take place on May 10, and the counting for which will be held on May 13.