Losers in past elections may not get Congress tickets

The Congress high command is understood to have prepared a formula to select candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka.

It has decided to deny tickets to those who lost the 2008 Assembly polls by 20,000 or more votes. Also, tickets will not be given to those who have lost twice in the previous Assembly elections. Also, those who had cross-voted in the last MLC elections in the State will be denied the tickets. Most of the sitting MLAs are likely to get tickets, while those facing charges will be dropped from the list.

To those who have evinced interest in joining Congress, the party is said to be ready to give the green signal if they have “Congress background.” This means those who come directly from the BJP will not be fielded as Congress candidates.

The party screening committee, which continued its meeting for the second day in the Capital on Tuesday to chose candidates, is said to be struggling in its exercise. The meeting, at one stage, is understood to have come to a halt following differences between KPCC president G Parameshwara and Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah. Both, party sources said, wanted their followers to be given the bulk of the tickets. The meeting, which began at around 4 pm on Monday, continued till about 3 am on Tuesday. The panel met about 22 leaders from Karnataka, including Union ministers and MPs.

The screening committee, headed by former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro, comprises Union Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh and AICC Karnataka in-charge Madhusudan Mistry, besides Parameshwara and Siddaramaiah.

The screening committee wants to complete its exercise by March 28. It will prepare a list of those constituencies where there is unanimity on single names of candidates. Those seats having two names each will be sent to the monitoring and co-ordination committee headed by Defence Minister A K Antony. The Central election committee, led by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, will finally put its seal of approval for the entire list of candidates.

The Antony committee consists senior leaders Ambika Soni, Vayalar Ravi, besides members of the screening panel. The Central poll panel comprises Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Janardhan Dwivedi, M L Fotedar, Mohsina Kidwai, Oscar Fernandes, Veerappa Moily, Mukul Wasnik, Girija Vyas and B K Handique.

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