Parties now scamper to finalise candidate lists

Karnataka going to polls in the second and third phase (April 18 and 23) has prompted the coalition partners, the JD(S) and the Congress, in the state to speed up the process of finalising the Lok Sabha seat-sharing process.

A meeting between JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda and AICC president Rahul Gandhi in this regard is likely to be held this week. There is not much time as the process for filing nomination papers for 14 seats for the April 18 polls will commence on March 19. The last date for filing nomination papers for this phase is March 26.

On its part, the BJP is likely to release its first list of candidates on March 16. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa is scheduled to meet party national president Amit Shah in the coming days to draw up the final list.

One round of discussions between the chiefs of the two parties at Gowda’s residence in New Delhi last week had remained inconclusive.

Gowda had told reporters that he had sought 10 of the total 28 Lok Sabha seats and the modalities would be worked out soon.

According to Congress sources, the party is ready to give up Shimoga, Uttara Kannada and Bijapur in addition to Hassan and Mandya. It is also willing to consider ceding Mysore-Kodagu, Bangalore North and Davanagere if the JD(S) suggests strong names.

JD(S) state president H Vishwanath said the seat-sharing exercise will be completed by Wednesday or Thursday. Senior Congress leaders including Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara, Dinesh Gundu Rao left for New Delhi to party’s screening committee meeting to select candidates, scheduled to be held on Monday.

Congress, last week, deferred a discussion on shortlisting candidates for 13 Lok Sabha constituencies during its state election committee meeting in Bengaluru.

This includes 10 seats currently held by the Congress, two of the JD(S) and Shimoga, where the regional party has already announced Madhu Bangarappa as its candidate. The KPCC election committee discussed candidates for the remaining 15 seats.

Meanwhile, Water Resources Minister on Sunday failed to convince local Congress leaders in Mandya, who have continued to oppose the party’s decision to cede the seat to the JD(S).

Shivakumar had been requested by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to intervene and pacify the Congress leaders. Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil is the JD(S) candidate from Mandya.

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Parties now scamper to finalise candidate lists

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