Congress may announce first list by month-end, no age bar for candidates

Congress may announce first list by month-end, no age bar for candidates

This means the 'one family, one ticket' policy will not apply.

Congress may announce first list by month-end, no age bar for candidates

While Congress president Rahul Gandhi wants young blood to represent the party, the state election committee on Wednesday decided against an age limit and restriction on fielding family members in the upcoming Assembly polls.

The 43-member committee headed by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief G Parameshwara held its maiden day-long meeting at a resort near Devanahalli.

This means the "one family, one ticket" policy, which Parameshwara had publicly sought, will not apply to the likes of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

The chief minister may contest from the Chamundeshwari constituency and field his son Dr Yathindra from Varuna. Over a dozen leaders are said to be lobbying for tickets to their sons and daughters.

During the meeting, it was also decided not to give tickets to corrupt candidates. But there was no clarity on what constituted corruption, who is corrupt and the extent of corruption that is permissible.

Further, candidates who lost by a margin of 25,000 votes in the 2013 election will be considered for a ticket only if surveys show that they can win this time.

"Applications for tickets submitted by all aspirants were discussed. Even survey reports came up for discussion. The list of candidates will be out by the end of this month," Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, who heads the party's campaign committee, told reporters.

All 224 Assembly segments have been divided into four divisions, with a team for each division.

Shivakumar heads Bengaluru, KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao Mysuru, former minister S R Patil Belagavi and AICC general secretary B K Hariprasad heads Kalaburgi division.

"Names of three aspirants per constituency will be prepared. They will be shortlisted further after a discussion with the chief minister. High command will take the final call," Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said.

"How many sitting legislators should get tickets will be discussed in another meeting on March 26. So far, we have discussed candidature for 90 Assembly seats where Congress lost last time," said Rao, adding, "Winnability is our only criterion."

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