Congress finds 25 seats too hot

Siddaramaiah seeks ticket from two constituencies

 The Congress is finding it difficult to select candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka in about 25 constituencies.

The central election committee of the Congress, led by its president Sonia Gandhi, held hour-long meetings thrice on Saturday in an effort to arrive at unanimity over its choice of candidates.

Finally, when the third meeting ended, it had cleared about 200 seats. The first meeting began at 10.30 am, the second around 6 pm and the last at 9.30 pm. It is said about selection of candidates in about  25 seats has become contentious.

At the morning meeting, the CEC was understood to have cleared 172 seats. This included those of the sitting MLAs, those who lost the last elections by a margin of less than 20,000, relatives of key leaders, etc.

Remaining seats

At the meeting, Sonia directed the AICC screening committee to discuss about the rest of the seats and get back to her. The screening committee met at the residence of AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry at 2.30 pm and later went back to the 10 Janpath residence of Sonia.

In its second and third meetings, the CEC is said to have cleared a total of about 200 seats while the rest of the seats would be cleared either by Sunday morning or Monday. However, the list would be announced only next week.

Speaking to reporters after the first meeting of the CEC, KPCC president G Parameshwara said: “we have almost finalised the list. Most of the sitting MLAs are going to be renominated. The list will be made public next week.”

Parameshwara had on Thursday told Deccan Herald that it was unlikely that the party would announce the list on Monday, since it is ‘April Fool Day.’

Party sources said the contentious seats include some of the seats being demanded for his followers by Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah and those which women leaders have demanded.

Siddaramaiah is said to have insisted that he would contest from two seats -- Varuna, from which he is the sitting MLA, and Chamundeshwari, his former constituency.

Idea rejected

However, screening committee chairman and former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro rejected the idea.

As the former deputy chief minister continued to be adamant, Faleiro told the former to speak to Sonia. Siddaramaiah was not available when Deccan Herald tried to contact him for clarification.

Women should be fielded

It is understood that Sonia was keen that wherever possible, women should be fielded. As a result, former MP Tejaswini (Bangalore South), former minister Motamma (Sakaleshpur) and Veena Achaiah (Madikeri) are likely to get
ticket.

Rajajinagar in Bangalore city has become contentious as well as hot favourite for several leaders. Vasanthi Shivanna, Rani Satish, Manjula Naidu, Allum Veerabhadrappa and V S Kaujalagi are said to be pitching for this seat. Some of the other contentious seats include Bellary (K C Kondaiah and Anil Lad) and Mandya (Ambareesh and Atmananda).

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