Congress screening panel junks '1 family, 1 ticket' demand

Winnabality, primary crietrion, says Madhusudhan Mistry

Congress screening panel junks '1 family, 1 ticket' demand

With many Congress leaders seeking tickets for their sons and daughters to contest the upcoming Assembly polls, the party's screening committee headed by Madhusudan Mistry has clarified that the number of tickets a family will get will not be capped.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara had publicly demanded a 'one family, one ticket' policy, in the backdrop of hectic lobbying by seniors to get tickets for their children, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who wants to field his son Dr Yathindra.

"There is no such criteria in the party," screening committee member and Chattisgarh MP Tamradhwaj Sahu said, when asked about the 'one family, one ticket' policy.

Mistry, who was AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka when the Congress rode to power in the 2013 Assembly polls, along with Sahu and Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi arrived in Bengaluru on Thursday on a two-day visit to hold preliminary meetings with the party's observers and some aspirants.

"The issue of giving tickets to sons and daughters of party leaders has not reached us yet. It's hypothetical, so we cannot anticipate anything," Mistry said.  

Since February 26, the KPCC has issued more than 3,000 ticket applications to aspirants, including sons and daughters of party leaders for the assembly polls.

Siddaramaiah plans to contest the next polls from the Chamundeshwari constituency and field Dr Yathindra from Varuna. Former chief minister M Veerappa Moily is seeking a ticket for his son Harsh Moily from Karkala in Udupi district. Similarly, Public Works Minister H C Mahadevappa, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Urban Development Minister R Roshan Baig, Law Minister T B Jayachandra, Speaker K B Koliwad, former Union ministers Margret Alva, K Rahman Khan and K H Muniyappa and MLC Motamma are said to be lobbying for tickets for their sons and daughters.

After ticket applications are submitted, they will be vetted by a state committee and then sent to the screening committee. The high command will finalise the candidates.

The committee interviewed some ticket aspirants and grilled them on how well they knew their constituency. The committee is also making note of the caste mix in constituencies. "Every party wants to come to power. Very naturally, winnability of a candidate will be the primary criterion," Mistry said.

Former Bengaluru Mayor G Padmavathi, who wants to contest from Rajajinagar, was one of the aspirants interviewed. "I urged the committee to give me the ticket because I am a native of Rajajinagar," she said. Padmavathi had lost the 2008 Assembly elections from
Rajajinagar.

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