The Congress is likely to announce candidates for 18 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka soon, with the party looking to field two MLAs and many new faces including Karnataka Congress Working President Eshwar Khandre from Bidar.
Out of the 20 seats allotted to the party following the seat-sharing pact with the JD(S), the party is looking to field all nine sitting MPs from their respective constituencies. The party has decided not to name candidates for Bengaluru South and Hubballi-Dharwad, sources said.
The Central Election Committee headed by party chief Rahul Gandhi finalised the candidates and the official announcement is expected soon.
The party is learnt to have decided to field two MLAs — former minister and Davangere South MLA Shamanur Shivashankarappa from Davangere and Bhalki MLA and Congress Working President Eshwar Khandre from Bidar.
Veena Kashappanavar, former ZP president, will fight from Bagalkot and Rajshekhar Hitnal, former ZP president, will be fielded from Koppal.
V S Sadhunavar, Director, Karnataka Lingayat Society will fight from Belagavi.
From Bengaluru Central, the party is likely to renominate Rizwan Arshad, MLC, who lost in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
D R Patil, former MLA, will be fielded from Haveri and R Vijay Shankar, former MP, who joined Congress from the BJP in 2017, is likely to be fielded from Mysuru. From Dakshina Kannada, the party is learnt to have decided to field Mithun Rai, Youth Congress leader and confidant of Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar.
The party might not announce a name for Bengaluru South, as there is speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may contest from the constituency. If Modi contests from this segment, the party may want to field a surprise candidate. Otherwise, the party may field K Govindaraju, MLC and confidant of former CM Siddaramaiah.
For Hubballi-Dharwad, the party will decide among two names - former MP I G Sanadi or North-Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation chairman and senior Congress leader Sadananda Dangannavar.