Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara on Tuesday said the second list of party candidates for the remaining 12 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State would be announced on Wednesday and Ministers in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet are likely to contest in at least two constituencies.
Dr. Parameshwara told presspersons here that the party was giving ticket based on the “winnability” factor and therefore there were possibilities of Ministers entering the poll fray.
To a question, the KPCC chief said the Congress high command had not set any target to the State party unit on the number of seats to be won but the party believed that it would win a maximum number of seats and the United Progressive Alliance government coming to power for the third term was certain.
On the reported threat by Mahima Patel to quit the party for not being fielded from Davangere, he said, “Mr. Patel should not feel upset for being denied ticket. This is not the end of the world for him as the party will make use of his service in future.” He, however, said Mr. Patel’s candidature would be considered for the Davangere Assembly seat after the incumbent MLA, S.S. Mallikarjun, gets elected to the Lok Sabha.
Dr. Parameshwara termed senior Congress leader C.K. Jaffer Sharief’s appeal to the party high command not to field any candidate against Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda in Hassan as his personal opinion and not that of the party. “Of course, both Mr. Sharief and Mr. Gowda are senior leaders, but the party has decided to fight the election against the JD(S) leader,” he said.
‘No Modi magic’
The KPCC chief said that there was no ‘Modi magic’ and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi cannot impress upon voters no matter how many times he would visit the State. “We have evolved strategies to counter Mr. Modi … our party workers are on the job, telling voters the achievements of UPA-I and UPA-II,” he said.
Terming the “Gujarat development model” false, Dr. Parameshwara said: “If we look at the assessment done by the United Nations Development Programme, the model propagated by Mr. Modi does not exist as Gujarat stands eighth while Kerala stands first in the country in terms of development.”
He clarified that there was no rift between him and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Earlier, Dr. Parameshwara, accompanied by party candidate for Mysore A.H. Vishwanath, and MLAs Vasu and M.K. Somashekar, took out a padayatra in the Chamaraja Assembly constituency to highlight the achievements of the UPA government.
‘We’re not in favour of putting off polls in State’
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara has said the Congress is not in favour of urging the Election Commission of India to put off the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in the State for April 17.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has made such a demand in view of a series of holidays in that week.
“Why didn’t that party [BJP] take up the matter with the Election Commission before the election dates were announced?” Dr. Parameshwara sought to know here on Tuesday.
“I don’t think there are strong reasons to put off the elections at this stage,” he said.