Congress president Sonia Gandhi will take the final decision on fielding Unique Identity Authority of India chairperson Nandan Nilekani as the party candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Bangalore South constituency, said G Parameshwara, president of the State unit of the party.
He told reporters on Monday that Nilekani did not meet any of the five criteria fixed by the Congress for becoming a candidate, including that of serving at least three years in the party.
“However, the party chief has the power to decide on such aspirants. If she decides to field him as a candidate, then it is final,” he said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with district party presidents, the party MLAs and former legislators on the selection of probable candidates for the polls. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too attended the meeting.
Parameshwara said Nilekani had recently met him and expressed his desire to contest the polls from Bangalore South. The State party would be proud to have him (Nilekani) as its candidate and it would extend all co-operation to him in the polls, he added.
Asked whether the local party leaders in Bangalore South accepted Nilekani’s candidature, he said he would hold talks with all the leaders and convince them if such a situation arises. Normally, the party workers and leaders abide by the decision of the high command, he said.
He said almost all the sitting MPs of the party were most likely to get the ticket to contest the polls. A panel of four to five names has been set up for each of the 28 parliamentary constituencies after two days of meeting. The names will be placed before the KPCC election committee, which is likely to meet either on January 3 or 4. The first list of candidates is likely to be released by January-end, he added.
Though winnability is the major factor for the candidates’ selection, those facing serious criminal charges will not be given tickets.
He also claimed the party had not fielded any candidate facing serious criminal charges in the State Assembly elections held in May this year.