Karnataka elections: In Congress selection of candidates Siddaramaiah shows he is boss
The much awaited Congress list was out on Sunday. The highlight of the list was that Siddaramaiah was given a ticket from just one constituency as opposed to reports that did the rounds in the media that he would be fielded from two constituencies.
Siddaramaiah would return to Chamundeshwari after almost a decade. He had won the constituency five out of the seven times he contested. The Varuna seat which he won in 2008 and 2013 will now be represented by his son.
The Congress held marathon sessions to finalise the list of candidates. Sources tell OneIndia that Siddaramaiah was keen on a two-seat contest. However many in the high command including Congress president, Rahul Gandhi were opposed to the idea.
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Rahul tried to pacify Siddaramaiah and told him that contesting from two seats would signal a defeat even before the battle had begun. It would give the opposition ample ammunition to target the party stating that it was on shaky ground.
While Siddaramaiah was not entirely happy with the decision, he however managed to push through all the candidates that he had suggested. He kept up his promise by getting tickets for the 7 JD(S) rebels who joined the Congress recently. There was plenty of disagreement between Mallikarjuna Kharge and Siddaramaiah over the Pulakeshinagar constituency.
Kharge batted for Prasanna Kumar who has represented the constituency 4 times in the past. However Siddaramaiah stood firm behind Akhanda Srinivasamurthy, a JD(S) rebel and managed to push his candidature through. The disagreement was finally settled after the high command assured Kharge that Kumar would be made an MLC.
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Further Siddaramaiah also managed to push the name of Ashok Khenny. Khenny is under the cloud in the NICE project case and there was severe opposition to his candidature. He was backed by Siddaramaiah who managed to have the final word. Kheny would contest from Bidar South. The other name that Siddaramaiah battled for was that of Transport Minister, H M Revanna. He would contest against H D Kumaraswamy from Channapatana.
The Congress however put on hold the name of N A Haris from the Shanthinagar constituency. The party is expected to announce the name today. The high command has left this decision to Siddaramaiah. Many within the Congress are in favour of fielding Rizwan Arshad from the constituency.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|
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