Cong stuck on fielding JD(S) rebels, old guard

Fielding Janata Dal(S) rebels and weeding out controversial legislators and a section of the old guard seemed to be stumbling blocks for the Congress as its tried to finalise candidates for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections.

Despite marathon meetings on Saturday, party leaders failed to reach a consensus.

The leaders had finalised candidates for almost 190 Assembly seats and discussions for the remaining nomineess continued late into Saturday night at an undisclosed location in the national capital.

The list of candidates was supposed to have been released on Saturday but differences among senior leaders further delayed the process. The filing of nominations for the polls begins on Tuesday.

The Congress high command asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and senior leaders to defer their campaign programmes and finalise the list of candidates at the earliest by staying back in Delhi.

"We will have two more rounds of meetings and by Sunday afternoon, names of all the candidates will be announced," Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara told reporters after a three-hour meeting chaired by Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday evening.

After the party top brass failed to finalise candidates for many constituencies on Friday, the screening committee headed by Madhusudhan Mistry met on Saturday for nearly three hours with party leaders, including Siddaramaiah, Parmeshwara and K C Venugopal.

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