Cong begins candidate selection process

Cong begins candidate selection process

Amid hectic lobbying by ticket-seekers, the Congress high command on Monday started the process of selecting candidates for the May 5 Assembly elections.

The screening committee headed by former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro met leaders from Karnataka, including Union Ministers, Members of Parliament and MLAs, to take their views on probable candidates for constituencies in their respective areas. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also held separate meetings with Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, K Rahman Khan, M Veerappa Moily and K H Muniyappa.  

Faleiro, who held a closed- door, one-to-one meeting with leaders, reportedly asked them to suggest names for the seats in their areas. Besides, Faleiro is learnt to have sought their opinion on the names recommended by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) to that particular segment.

While discussing the possibility of those who fail to get the ticket rebelling against the party, he is learnt to have spelled out the party’s plan to fix the responsibility on senior leaders if the tickets are given to those suggested by them.

Later, speaking to reporters, KPCC President G Parameshwara said that the meeting will continue for a few more days and the first list will be announced on March 30.

A large number of leaders and their followers are camping in Delhi for the past few days and are exerting pressure on senior leaders to get them tickets. To avoid the ticket aspirants, the screening committee, which initially held a meeting at Congress head office at 24, Akbar Road, later shifted the meeting to an undisclosed venue.

While some leaders are lobbying for an increase in the ticket quota for their community and region, a section of leaders are making efforts to pressure the high command not to induct MLAs from other parties.

Ticket for Independent MLAs

The Congress screening committee meeting on Monday decided to induct Independent MLAs P M Narendraswamy (Malavalli), Venkataramanappa (Pavagad), D Sudhakar (Hiriyur) and Shivaraj Tangadgi (Kanakagiri) in the party and field them from the very constituencies they are presently representing.

On inducting BJP MLAs Raju Gouda and Pratapa Gowda Patil and former minister C P Yogeeshwara, who recently quit the BJP, the Congress leaders have decided to hold further discussions, sources said.

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