Karnataka polls: Congress plays caste card, renominates over 100 leaders from Lingayat, Vokkaliga communities
The Congress , which released the first list of 177 candidates for polls to the Karnataka Assembly played the caste card again.
The two dominant communities- Lingayats and Vokkaligas- have grabbed the lion’s share by getting over 100 nominations.
The party has continued its reliance on old warhorses by re-nominating 64 sitting MLAs and 44 former ministers.
There are as many as 49 new faces, 13 Muslims and seven women among the 177 candidates. Prominent among them are Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dr G. Parameshwara from Koratagere, film actor and former Union minister Ambarish from Mandya, and CM aspirant and former minister D.K. Shivakumar from Kanakapura.
None of the kin of senior leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge, former CM N. Dharam Singh and K.H. Muniyappa got tickets in the first list. The party has not accommodated followers of former CM B.S. Yeddyurappa.
In fact, former minister C.P. Yogeshwara, who quit the BJP to join Congress, has been denied a ticket. The BJP has played it safe by not according priority to Lingayats or Vokkaligas.
Following the party’s central election committee meeting on Friday the BJP gave tickets to 80 of the 82 sitting MLAs in the first list of 140 candidates.
The party gave the goahead to Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar to enter the fray from Hubli-Dharwad Central.
Parties roll out first lists of candidates;
Bangalore, April 6,2013 DHNS
Majority of sitting members accommodated
The Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Friday announced their first lists of candidates for the May 5 Assembly elections.
The BJP and the Congress have not allotted tickets to leaders facing serious corruption charges. They have also not named candidates for constituencies where there are multiple contenders.
All prominent sitting MLAs, including Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka and Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah, Congress state unit president G Parameshwara, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, former ministers H K Patil and R V Deshpande, JD-S state unit president and Lok Sabha member H D Kumaraswamy and MP N Cheluvaryaaswamy, will contest the elections.
The Congress has announced candidates for 177 Assembly constituencies, the BJP 140 seats and the JD-S 122 seats. The total number of constituencies is 224. All parties will have to announce their candidates before April 17, the last day for filing nominations. The Congress released to the media the candidates’ list late in the evening, minutes after the BJP’s Ananth Kumar announced his party’s nominees in New Delhi.
Kumaraswamy released the list at a press conference in Bangalore.
The BJP played it safe by giving tickets to a majority of the sitting legislators but deferred announcing re-nomination of those who are facing serious corruption charges.
Sitting MLAs Katta Subramanya Naidu, Krishnaiah Setty and Y Sampangi do not figure in the first list. The BJP has also not announced any alternative candidates for these leaders in the constituencies presently represented by them.
In Bangalore, the BJP has not announced candidates for four constituencies. The party seems to be lenient towards legislators against whom private complaints have been filed in Lokayukta courts. They include K S Eshwarappa (Shimoga), R Ashoka (Padmanabhanagar), S R Vishwanath (Yelahanka), S Muniraju (Dasarahalli), C T Ravi (Chikmagalur), Murgesh Nirani (Bilagi) and Abhay Patil (Belgaum South).
The party has issued tickets to former Yeddyurappa loyalists Basavaraj Bommai, Umesh Katti and Murgesh Nirani. Nirani’s demand that he be given the Jamakhandi seat has been rejected. He has been asked to contest from Bilagi, his home turf. However, Somanna’s name has been left out.
Sitting legislators C C Patil, Lakshman Savadi and Krishna Palemar, who were caught in the infamous porngate episode, figure in the list. The Congress, which is facing severe infighting and too many ticket aspirants, has not announced candidates for many constituencies in Bangalore.
The nominees for 10 of the 28 constituencies in Bangalore are yet to be announced. The party has finalised the nominees for Hebbal, Malleshwaram, Jayanagar, Padmanabhanagar, Bangalore South, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Vasanthpura, KR Puram, Mahadevpura and CV Raman Nagar. But it has not announced the names of the candidates.
The Congress has conceded the request of cine star and former Union minister Ambareesh to contest from Mandya instead of Srirangapattana.
Congress leader S M Krishna was planning to field Kalapan Siddarajau, who quit as the JD-S legislator, from Maddur. But the party has chosen Madhu Madegowda as the candidate.
Former minister B L Shankar will contest from Dasarahalli. Prof B K Chandrashekar will test his electoral fortune from Basavanagudi.
The party has chosen State Congress women’s unit president Manjula Naidu over former MLC Rani Satish for Rajajinagar. Siddaramaiah is contesting from Varuna.
The Congress has also not shied away from renominating D K Shivakumar (Kanakapura) and Baburao Chinchansoor (Gurumitkal), who is facing Lokayukta cases.
The Congress has so far not identified those who indulged in cross-voting during the last MLCs’ elections. But, sources said those who violated the party norms have also been favoured by giving ticket.
The Congress has disappointed former BJP legislators who were eagerly awaiting tickets.
The party has refrained from giving ticket to children of senior Congress leaders.