Cong poll panel to meet today

Seniors upset as there are too many members in the committee

Riding high on its impressive performance in the recently held ULB polls, the election committee of the State Congress will meet for two days from Saturday on the outskirts of Bangalore to prepare a list of probable candidates for the upcoming elections to the State Assembly.

The Committee, which is meeting at a resort near Devanahalli, will look into the recommendations made by the party district units on the probable candidates and examine the caste configuration and local issues, if any, to prepare a list of probables. The list prepared by the KPCC election committee will be examined and finalised by an AICC Screening Committee, which is yet to be set up. The party high command will take the final decision based on the Screening Committee’s recommendation, the party sources said.

Representatives of AICC, KPCC chief, Union ministers, the party leaders in both Houses of the Legislature, all former chief ministers, former Union ministers and former KPCC presidents will be in the committee. The committee headed by KPCC chief G Parameshwara will have 59 members. AICC incharge of Karnataka Madhusudhan Mistry arrived in Bangalore to chair the two-day meeting. However, it is not clear whether former external affairs minister S M Krishna will attend the meeting.

The KPCC, on Friday, appointed eight party leaders — Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Satish Jharkiholi, Shivamurthy, Umashree, H C Mahadevappa, K C Kondaiah, A Krishnappa and S S Prakasham— as special invitees for the committee meeting.

Many seniors and MPs have already complained to the high command that no useful discussion could be conducted as there are too many members in the committee. Senior leader S M Krishna is also on the panel. But the party is not sure whether he would make it to the meeting as he has been keeping off from party meetings ever since he resigned as external affairs minister. He may not seek a ticket to contest the polls, sources said.
The party sources said a majority of the 71 sitting MLAs will be given tickets to contest again. And the party candidates in about 50 constituencies (where senior leaders are aspirants) are likely to be selected unanimously. Detailed discussion will be held for the remaining seats and also to those where there are too many aspirants.

Besides, the leaders would discuss the issue of inducting ‘outsiders’, including four independent MLAs, into the party, preparation of the election manifesto and the agenda for the election campaign. The issue of senior leaders seeking tickets to their family members and relatives and issuing tickets to those facing criminal charges will also be discussed at the meeting, the party sources said.

For the 224 Assembly constituencies, the KPCC has received about 2,150 applications seeking party tickets. The background of every aspirant has been kept ready to help the panel members take informed decisions.

Sitting MLAs, MLCs, former ministers and legislators and corporators are in the ticket aspirants’ list. MLC and senior leader Motamma has sought ticket from Mudigere, while former MLC V R Sudharshan has aspired to contest from Jayanagar. Among former ministers, B L Shankar and Rani Sathish (both want to contest from a Bangalore City constituency) have sought the tickets. As many as 10 BBMP corporators are learnt to have applied for tickets.

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