Free Press Journal

Karnataka Assembly elections: Congress releases first list of 218 candidates


New Delhi/Bengaluru: The Congress on Sunday released its first list of 218 candidates for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, fielding Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from Chamundeshwari and state party chief G Parameshwara from Korategere.

The party has not applied the “one-family, one-ticket” formula for the Karnataka polls as it granted tickets to the chief minister and his son, the Home minister and his daughter, and the Law minister and his son. The Congress had followed this rule in the Punjab polls held last year. The announcement that Siddaramaiah will contest from Chamundeshwari in Mysuru, ended speculation that he might be in the fray from a second constituency, Badami, in north Karnataka’s Bagalkote district.

In the dissolved Assembly, Siddaramaiah was representing Varuna in Mysuru. It has now been allotted to his son Yatindra. Siddaramaiah had made his debut in the Assembly in 1983 from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal ticket from where he had won five times and tasted defeat twice. Sources said that while the party has dropped 12 sitting MLAs, all the ministers were given a ticket.

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The first list includes at least 15 women candidates and the names of the seven former JD-S and two ex-BJP legislators who joined the party earlier this year. Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy will contest the polls from BTM Layout and his daughter Soumya R from the Jayanagara Assembly constituency (Bengaluru). Law minister T B Jayachandra’s son Santosh Jayachandra was given a ticket from the Chikanayakanhalli Assembly seat (Tumkur). Senior Congress leader’s son Priyank Kharge was given a ticket and he will contest the polls from the Chitapur (Reserved) seat in Gulbarga district.

Out of the total candidates, 52 are OBCs, 48 and 39 from the Lingayat and the Vokalliga communities respectively, 36 from the Schedule Castes (SC) and 17 from Schedule Tribes (STs), party source said. Fifteen candidates are Muslim, seven Brahmin and two candidates are each from the Jain and Christian communities, they said. Youths were given preference. Twenty-four candidates are in the age group of 25-40 years, 49 in the 41-50 group, 72 in the 51-60 group, 66 in the 61-70 group and seven candidates are above the age of 70 years, the sources said.

The party said it has left the Melukota Assembly seat (AC-188) for one of its  partners. Sitting MLAs who were denied a ticket include Basavaraj Shivannavar from Badgy, Manohar Tehsildar from Hangal, Shiv Moorti Nayak from Mycunda, Turuverevere from Shriniwas and Sharabsherry from Tiptur. Former BJP MLAs Nagendra and Anand Singh and former JD-S MLAs Zamir Ahmed Khan, Chelluvar Ayyasamy, Iqbal Ansari, Akhanda Srinivas Moorthi, Blakrishna, Bheema Nayak and Ramesh Bendi Siddhagowda were also given tickets. They joined the Congress recently.

The party is yet to announce its candidates for the Sindagi, Kittur, Nagathana, Melukote, Raichur and Shantinagar assembly seats. Among the fresh faces fielded by the Congress are Samath Raj, Anjali Nimbalkar, G Padmavati, Roopa Shashidhar, H S Manjunath, K Fatima, Madhu Madhe Gouda, MD Laxminarayan Vani, Krishna Reddy, Keertana Rudresh Gowda. B Suresh Siddhaiah, B Manjugowda and A L Pushpa. The results of the election to the 224-seat Karnataka Assembly will be out on May 15.