Karnataka Assembly polls: Congress announces 2nd list, no decision yet on Kolar
Congress on Thursday announced its second list of 42 candidates, for the Karnataka assembly elections but no decision has yet been taken on who would contest from Kolar even as former chief minister Siddaramaiah has expressed a desire to contest from the constituency.
The Congress has also accommodated candidates who switched to the party from the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular). The party is seeking to wrest power from BJP in the state in the upcoming polls.
In the Melukote constituency, the Congress has decided to back the Sarvodaya Karnataka Party candidate Darshan Puttannaiah, the son of famed K S Puttanaiah.
According to sources, the Congress top brass has asked Siddaramaiah to contest from his traditional stronghold of Varuna in the Mysuru district, where his son doctor Yatindra Siddaramaiah won in the 2018 Assembly Elections.
READ | Congress releases 2nd list of candidates for Karnataka assembly election
Sources said that earlier, amid disagreements between the party’s local leaders in Kolar, the Congress High Command had instructed the 75-year-old former chief minister to drop his plan to contest from the Kolar assembly segment
Meanwhile, former minister Vinay Kulkarni who has been named by Congress as its candidate from Dharwad constituency will have to campaign remotely since the Supreme Court has barred his entry into the district after the CBI named him in connection with the 2016 murder case of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, Yogeeshgouda Goudar.
Kulkarni has been out on bail on the condition that he will not enter the district nor will do anything to tamper with the evidence in the murder case.
Kulkarni was allegedly involved in connection with the murder of Goudar, on June 15, 2016, after he defeated the rival Congress party candidate in the Zila Panchayat elections.
The party’s Central Election Committee will meet again today at 2:30 pm in the national capital. Of the 224 seats, 124 seats were announced in its first list, 42 seats were announced in the second list and according to sources the remaining will be decided in the meeting this afternoon.
On Tuesday, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said that the party will conduct an extensive discussion on candidates for the remaining 100 seats in the State.
The Congress had on March 25 announced its first list of 124 candidates for the polls, which included names of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and State Party president DK Shivakumar.
Elections are slated to be held in Karnataka in a single phase on May 10, and the counting of votes will take place on May 13.
Karnataka, which has 224 seats in the Assembly currently has 119 MLAs of the ruling BJP, while Congress has 75 and its ally JD(S) has 28 seats.
Political parties in the State including the ruling BJP, Congress and ally JD(S) are engaged in a spate of allegations and counter-allegations, with the latter attempting to corner the government over the issue of corruption.
The model code of conduct had come into effect after elections were announced in the State.