The Congress, which has been holding an exercise to shortlist candidates for the BBMP elections for the past one week, did not release its list even on Saturday.
Sources said Congress’ senior leaders are delaying making the list public as they are apprehensive of a severe backlash from aspirants, including party-hopping by those who fail to make it to the final list. The party, in several cases, has already issued ‘B’ forms to candidates and told them to keep it a secret till 3 pm, Monday, the last day for filing the nominations. It is said that JD(S) has kept its doors open for rebels in the Congress. It is said that the party may make the list of names public on Tuesday.
While the party had decided that winnability and recommendation of ward and block committees was the main criteria in selecting candidates, there were pressures from various quarters, especially on KPCC president G Parameshwara and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, to get tickets for their supporters. Multiple lists from the CM’s camp and KPCC chief’s camp were informally doing the rounds. Both Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara are said to have taken it as a prestige issue that their candidates make it to the list.
The screening committee comprising Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara and ministers from Bengaluru held a closed door meeting to finalise the candidates. The party has already finalised candidates in Assembly segments represented by Congress MLAs and is facing problems in constituencies like Malleswaram, Dasarahalli, Rajajinagar, which are not represented by Congress legislators.
A huge crowd, which had gathered in front of Parameshwara’s residence, sought that former corporators from Pulakeshinagar Assembly segment should not be given tickets. They stated that show-cause notices had been issued to the former corporators for indulging in anti-party activities, yet the party was considering issuing tickets to them.