Cong’s ‘biased’ list triggers infighting

| | Bengaluru

The day after announcement of seats by the Congress for the May 12 Assembly polls in Karnataka, the party has to face the ire of the disgruntled Congress workers across the State. The Congress released in the first list for 218 seats on Monday. Upset at irregularities, irate party workers ransacked KPCC office in Bengaluru and other party offices in Mandya among others. They expressed their unhappiness over tickets given to JD(S) rebel legislators and some independents.

The party has reportedly re-nominated 107 of the 122 sitting MLAs but refused tickets for 14 sitting MLAs. In addition, candidates for Sindgi, Nagthan, Melukote, Kittur, Raichur and Shantinagar Assembly seats have not been decided yet. As per the caste equations, the list includes 42 Lingayats, 6 Reddys, 7 Brahmins, 15 Muslims, 2 Christians, 2 Jains, 36 SCs, 17 STs and 52 OBCs.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be contesting from Chamundeshwari  and his son Dr Yatheendra will contest the election from Varuna constituency. Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge will contest from Chitapur and Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy’s will contest from BTM Assembly constituency and his daughter Soumya Reddy will make her political debut by contesting from Jayanagar Assembly constituency. Law Minister TB Jayachandra and his son have also been given ticket breaking one family and one ticket.

Congress workers took to streets in Mangaluru, while in Mandya, protesters vandalised the party offices. Congress party leaders say this reaction was not completely unexpected. The party has said process of selection was based on winnability and this was anticipated. KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the issues will settle down and party will try to ‘accommodate them’.

Like in 2017 Punjab polls the Congress 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.

Meanwhile the BJP also has released second list and there are disgruntlement about allotment to tickets. With this battle lines between the Congress and BJP have been drawn for the ensuing 12 May election. JD(S), is expected to release its second list on Tuesday.

As many as 12 sitting MLAs did not get tickets in the Congress list. These include R Ramakrishna (Gulbarga Rural), Manohar Tahasildar (Hangal), BB Chimmankatti (Badami), Makbul S Baghwan (Vijayapura City), BN Shivannavar (Byadgi), NY Gopalakrishna (Ballari), HP Rajesh (Jagalur), GH Srinivas (Tarikere), K Shadakshari (Tiptur), S Jayanna (Kollegal), BM Nagaraj (Siraguppa) and Shivamurthy Naik (Mayakonda). While the BJP list has only three women among the first 72 candidates announced, the Congress list features 15 women among 218 candidates announced. The list includes former Bengaluru Mayor G Padmavati, KPCC women’s wing president Laxmi Hebbalkar, Women and Child Welfare Minister Umashree and Sharada Mohan Shetty among others.



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