Nilekani certain to be Cong candidate for B'lore South

Nilekani certain to be Cong candidate for B'lore South

Congress leaders in here may like it or not, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani will contest Lok Sabha elections against BJP’s H N Ananth Kumar for the Bangalore South seat.

Congress sources said both party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi favour Nilekani knowing fully well that fighting a seasoned politician and five-time MP Ananth Kumar would not be an easy task.

A senior Congress leader, who has been camping in Delhi to discuss the candidates for elections, said Nilekani has created a brand for himself in the IT field and helped Congress by coming out with Aadhaar system.

When Congress is being accused of corruption, Nilekani has brought in changes through Aadhaar card in villages. The party should be proud of him for bringing respect to it at the global level.

Hence, he should be encouraged to contest a direct election as well as should be given a prime position if the party returns to power.

For younger generations, Nilekani is appealing, as none can find any drawback in him, was the view expressed by the high command.

Local leaders had preferred businessman U B Venkatesh. But, true to the party’s culture, the leaders have no choice but to accept as well as work for candidates chosen by the high command, sources said.

Sources said Congress’ nominees for Bangalore South - G P Sharma, who was a transport tycoon, Varalakshmi Gundu Rao, wife of late chief minister R Gundu Rao, Venkatagiri Gowda, B K Hariprasad and Krishna Byre Gowda had lost the poll battle. However, former chief minister Gundu Rao managed to win the seat in 1989.

In the 2013 Assembly elections, the Congress and the BJP had won four seats each in Bangalore South. But, the Congress managed to get 50,000 votes more than the BJP.
This has given hope to the Congress that it can do well in the LS polls, sources said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, while replying to questions by media in Bangalore, said candidates for 11 constituencies have been finalised. The first list would be released either by the end of January or the first week of next month.

Sources in Delhi said all sitting nine MPs from Karnataka would be renominated. Rahul Gandhi would not be contesting from Karnataka as such decision would go against him as well as the party. Being a leader, it would not be correct to dump his constituency and contest from elsewhere, sources said.

It is also learnt that B K Hariprasad is keen on contesting from Uttara Kannada, while Margaret Alva and R V Deshpande are seeking ticket for their children.

The party would have to field at least one Christian but it is difficult to make provision for the same, sources said.

Probably only one woman would be fielded and that would be Lakshmi Hebbalkar from Belgaum. Sources also said that Parameshwara has not been offered either Deputy CM post or even an opportunity to be an MLC, by the high command.

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