Sonia to take final call on second list

Sonia to take final call on second list

Demand to modify first list already announced grows shriller

The Congress screening committee headed by former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro on Tuesday finalised the party candidates for 47 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka and will place it before the central election committee, headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, for approval on Wednesday.

The screening committee, which also discussed the complaints of corruption in distribution of tickets, decided to leave it to Sonia’s discretion the decision on the demand to modify the first list of candidates for 177 seats.

List can be modified

When Faleiro and Union Minister for Sports Jitendra Singh, member of the screening committee, enquired about the outbursts from a section of party leaders on ticket distribution, KPCC president G Parameshwara and Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah are learnt to have justified the selection pattern.

However, the two leaders said if required, the high command can modify the first list and they were ready to face any probe. Sonia, who will return to the national capital on Wednesday morning from a foreign tour, is likely to chair the election committee meeting. “The final list may be announced Wednesday or Thursday,” said party sources. 

Though a section of leaders is strongly favouring modification of the list, another section is opposing it, apprehending possible rebellion from contestants.

“As the first list was vetted and approved by Sonia herself, making changes will tantamount to accepting the charges of corruption. Instead, the party may prefer to be choosy while selecting candidates for the remaining 47 constituencies,” a senior Congress leader told Deccan Herald.

Ticket aspirants continued to throng the national capital on Tuesday to lobby for tickets, a section of leaders were at the offices of the party’s top brass with complaints against “injustice” meted out to them.

Former minister Rani Satish, who was eyeing the ticket for the Rajajinagar Assembly segment, met Karnataka in-charge of the party’s affairs Madhusudan Mistry and General Secretary Oscar Fernandes and expressed unhappiness over the method adopted for ticket distribution. Senior leader V S Koujalagi accompanied her.

Ignoring loyal party workers, tickets were given to real estate agents or middlemen, she reportedly said.

Lokeshwari Vinaychandra, senior leader from Dakshina Kannada district, who was eyeing the ticket from Belthangadi or Puttur, also complained to the high command on loyal party workers being ignored.

Despite Sonia Gandhi’s promise to give ticket to one woman candidate in every district, it was not followed.

The party should modify its first list to ensure victory in the maximum number of seats, she said.

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