Bengaluru, Oct 9: In a move seen as confirmation of party tickets to disqualified Congress-JDS MLAs, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday appointed eight former BJP candidates from constituencies they represented as heads of boards and corporations with Minister of State rank.

The defeated BJP candidates appointed as heads of state run boards and corporations with this rank include Sharath Bachegowda as Chairman of the Karnataka Housing Board.

Bachegowda was defeated in the 2018assembly polls by M T B Nagaraj inHosakote.

His supporters had recently thronged Yediyurappa's home, demanding a ticket for their leader and opposed any move by the party to allot a ticket to disqualified MLA Nagaraj.

Yediyurappa had recently said disqualified Congress-JDS MLAs would be given BJP tickets for the bypolls if they wanted, amid growing opposition in some quarters within the party against any such move.

The rebellion by the then MLAs had led to the fall of the Congress-JDS government in July, paving the way for the BJP to come back to power.

By elections to constituencies held by them are slated in December.

Yediyurappa had tried to pacify BJP ticket aspirants and those defeated in the2018 assembly polls,saying "opportunity" will be created for them in state-run boards and corporations.

Among others appointed were Ashok Ningayyaswami Pujari as Chairman of the Karnataka Border Area Development Authority and Bharamagouda Kage as Chairman of Command Area Development Programme- Malaprabha and Ghataprabha projects,Belagavi.

Nandish Reddy was made Vice-Chairman of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, U B Banakar as Chairman of the Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processingand Export Corporation Limited, while Basangouda Turvihal was appointed Chairman of CADA- Tungabhadra Project.

V S Patil was appointed as Chairman of North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and H R Gaviappa as chairman of the Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation Ltd.

The bypolls to 15 of 17 seats represented by disqualified MLAs, which the Election Commission had earlier decided to defer until Supreme Court decides on their plea challenging disqualification, has now been scheduled forDecember 5.

Even as the status of the disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs over their eligibility to contest the bypolls is yet to be decided by the Apex Court, there is growing opposition within some in the state BJP against giving them tickets to contest.

The 15 constituencies going to the polls are Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijayanagara, Chikkaballapura, K R Pura, Yeswanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara, Hosakote, K R Pete, and Hunsur. Among these, 12 were represented by Congress and three by JD(S).

Winning most seats is crucial for BJP to stay in power.

The ruling party has 105 MLAs (including one independent) in the assembly, whose current strength is 208 (after 17 disqualifications).

While Congress' strength is 66, JD(S) has 34 MLAs in the Assembly that also consists of one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.

The actual strength of the assembly is 225 and the half way mark is 113.

BJP needs to win at least six seats in the bypolls for 15 constituencies to remain in majority in the assembly, which will still have two vacant seats (Maski and R R Nagar).

The absence and resignation of the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs during the trust vote had led to the collapse of the coalition government in July and helped BJP to come to power.

After examining the petition moved by both parties, the then Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had disqualified the 17 Congress and JD(S) MLAs under theanti-defectionlaw, which they have challenged in the SupremeCourt.

Kumar had ruled that those disqualified cease to be MLAs with immediate effect till the expiry of the 15th assembly (in 2023).

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Bhadohi (UP): An FIR was lodged against BJP MLA Ravindra Nath Tripathi and six others here on Wednesday for allegedly raping a woman repeatedly for a month in 2017, police said.

The woman, 40, lodged a complaint on February 10, they said.

The complainant has alleged that in 2017, Tripathi, the MLA from Bhadohi, and his six accomplices kept her at a hotel for a month and repeatedly raped her, Superintendent of Police (SP) Ram Badan Singh said.

She also claimed that she got pregnant and was forced to undergo abortion, he said.

A probe in this regard was handed over to Assistant Superintendent of Police Ravindra Verma. After he submitted his report, an FIR was registered against the seven men at the city police station, the officer added.

Singh said the woman's statement will be recorded before a magistrate and further action will be taken in the matter as per law.