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Cong begins selection of candidates

BANGALORE , Mar 16, 2013, DHNS:

Focus on transparency

File Photo of Karnataka Congress leaders

The Congress on Saturday came under pressure from its senior leaders to come out with guidelines based on which transparency could be enforced while selecting candidates for Assembly elections due in April-May.

In Bangalore, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) began its two-day exercise of shortlisting the candidates for the elections. As many as 59 Congress leaders, including all four Union ministers from the State, are on the election committee which has been formed to scrutinise 2,150 applications. Former Union minister S M Krishna, though is on the panel, did not attend the meeting held at a resort at Devanahalli.

A section of the panel members reportedly told AICC general secretary Madhusudhan Mistry, in charge of party affairs of Karnataka, and KPCC president G Parameshwara to immediately draft a set of guidelines based on which the candidates could be selected.

Though the party has done well in the elections to the urban local bodies (ULBs), it could not perform well in some Assembly segments owing to poor selection of candidates.

Similar mistakes were committed in the last Assembly elections too. There should be no room for such recurrence. In Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his party performed well in the elections because his outfit selected candidates based on certain parameters, a leader pointed out.

Sources also said the party “is not in favour” of fielding all its 71 sitting MLAs because some of them “may not be able to win this time.” At the most 30 MLAs may get their names cleared without any hassles.  If the election committee goes by set norms, then it will be easy to deny or grant ticket, the seniors suggested to the president.

The election committee spent nearly two hours in assessing the outcome of the ULB elections.

Though leaders were happy with the poll outcome, they wanted the party to analyse why it could not perform better in certain ULBs.

The party has now given direction to district unit presidents to immediately send reports explaining the reasons for the defeat of official nominees.

The election panel has formed four committees to sort out the applications which the party has received from ticket aspirants.  The Bangalore division is headed by B Janardhana Poojary. Dharam Singh is in charge of the Mysore division.

B K Hariprasad and S R Patil head the Gulbarga and Belgaum divisions respectively. Each panel has 15 members.

On day one itself, the four panels vetted the applications and brought down the number to 600. Except for about 30 constituencies, a panel of names has been recommended for the other seats.

On Sunday, the panels will further streamline the list which will be later sent to the party high command.

The list will have to be vetted by a screening committee which was formed on Saturday in New Delhi and finally to the central election committee. The list will be announced only after the date of elections is notified, sources said.

It is said the party decided to give priority to social justice concept while giving ticket. A good number of party candidates belonging to minority communities have won the ULB elections. This should be kept in mind while making the selections for the Assembly polls, it was decided.

The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Mallikharjun Kharge, Veerappa Moily, Rehman Khan, Muniyappa, Poojary, Oscar Fernandes, D K Shivakumar, Ambareesh, Veeranna Mattikatti and S R Patil, among others.


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