New Delhi: With just 15 days to go for the bypolls in the state, the BJP in Karnataka on Thursday expelled another rebel member Kaviraj Urs from the party’s primary membership for anti-party activities. The move from the saffron party came after Urs decided to contest as an independent candidate from Vijayanagara constituency. Notably, BJP’s Anand Singh is contesting from the Vijayanagara constituency for the Karnataka Assembly bypolls.

On November 19, the BJP had expelled rebel candidate Sharath Bachegowda for anti-party activities. He was contesting as an independent candidate from Hoskote constituency. At present, BJP’s MTB Nagaraj is contesting from the same constituency.

Writing separate letters to both the rebel candidates, the BJP said their contest against party’s official candidates is being considered as an anti-party activity.

The development comes after the party asked both the leaders to withdraw their candidature by Thursday. The party was forced to take the drastic steps as both the leaders decided not to withdraw their nomination.

Despite party’s repeated attempts to pacify them, these two candidates decided to remain adamant on contesting as independent candidates.

Once a secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha, Bachegowda was earlier appointed as Chairman of Karnataka Housing Board by state Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. The attempt from the CM was made to pacify him.

Chief Minister Yediyurappa had also recently hinted out that the party has decided to expel both the leaders.

On November 14, the BJP announced the names of 13 rebel MLAs for the first list of Assembly bypolls in Karnataka.

As per the list, the BJP had fielded Mahesh Kumatalli to contest from Athani, Srimanthagounda Patil from Kagwad, Ramesh Jarakiholi from Gokak, Shivram Hebbar from Yellapur, BC Patil from Hirekerur, Anand Singh from Vijayanagara and K Sudhakar from Chikkaballapur.

The list also has names such as Bhairathi Basavaraj from KR Pura, ST Somashekar from Yeshvanthapura, K Gopaliah from Mahalakshmi Layout, MTB Nagraj from Hosakote, KC Narayanagowda from Krishnarajpet, and H Vishwanath from Hunsur.

The BJP announced the name of candidates hours after 15 out of 17 disqualified rebel MLAs, including those from Congress and JD(S) joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.