Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar figure in Congress first list of candidates for Karnataka Assembly polls


BENGALURU: Congress State unit president D K Shivakumar and Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, who are Chief Ministerial aspirants in the event of the party coming to power in Karnataka, are among the prominent leaders who figure in the first list of candidates for the Assembly polls, due by May, announced on Saturday.

While Shivakumar is predictably contesting from Kanakapura, Siddaramaiah is returning to his home turf of Varuna in Mysuru district, which is currently represented by his son Yathindra Siddaramaiah.

Yathindra’s name does not figure for any other segment in the first list of 124 candidates.

Siddaramiah, however said, he wants to contest from two seats. ”I had said, it is left for the high command to decide (regarding the constituency). High command has asked me to contest from Varuna. I have said, I will contest from two constituencies, from Kolar and here, again it is left to the high command,” Siddaramaih said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, his son Yathidra will not be contesting from any constituency. Siddaramaiah who currently represents Badami in Bagalkote district, had earlier announced that he will be contesting from Kolar, but backtracked after party leadership reportedly cautioned him regarding the ”risks” fighting from there.

The principal opposition party in the current Assembly, which has set a target of winning at least 150 seats, has not yet announced any candidate for Kolar and Badami seats. According to some party functionaries, Siddaramaiah, in the event of him winning from both the seats, plans to vacate Varuna seat, and field Yathindra from there in the subsequent bypoll.

Names are yet to be finalised for the remaining 100 more seats. Karnataka has a total of 224 Assembly constituencies.

Addressing mediapersons, Shivakumar said, in the next three to four days the second list will also be announced.

The Election Commission of India is expected to announce the poll schedule in the next few days.

The first list mostly contains the seats represented by sitting MLAs and the constituencies for which only one name was recommended by the State unit.

Responding to a question on a few sitting MLAs not making it to the first list, Shivakumar said, ”Almost 95 per cent of them will get, some clarifications and negotiations are going on, and there is no reason for anyone to worry.” Interestingly, veteran Congress leader K H Muniyappa, the seven-time MP and former Union Minister, has returned to State politics, and has been fielded from Devanahalli, while his daughter and sitting MLA from KGF Roopakala M has once again got the ticket from the segment.

The 91-year old veteran leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa has once again got the ticket from Davanagere South, and so does his son, S S Mallikarjun from Davanagere North.

Among senior party leaders who have got the tickets include G Parameshwara-Koratagere, R V Deshpande- Haliyal, H K Patil-Gadag, M B Batil (campaign committee chief) – Babaleswar, Priyank Kharge (AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge’s son)- Chitapur, K R Rameshkumar (former Speaker) -Srinivaspur, Eshwar Khandre (Working President)- Bhalki, Satish Laxmanrao Jarkiholi (Working President)- Yemkanmardi, K J George- Sarvagnanagar, Dinesh Gundu Rao-Gandhi Nagar.

Darshan Dhruvanarayana, son of the party working president Dhruvanaryana, who passed away recently, has got the ticket from Nanjangud, and senior leader H C Mahadevappa, who was a ticket aspirant for this seat, has been fielded from T Narasipur.

Iqbal Hussain H A has been fielded from Ramanagara to fight JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy’s son, actor-turned politician Nikhil Kumaraswamy. Shivakumar had indicated about fielding his brother and Congress’ Bangalore Rural MP D K Suresh from Ramanagara seat citing a message from the party leadership. However, Suresh had ruled out the possibility citing him being the lone Congress MP from the State and that he was not interested in State politics.

Puttanna and U B Bankar, who recently crossed over to the BJP, have been fielded from Rajajinagar and Hirekerur respectively.

Fight between two siblings, the sons of former Chief Minister late S Bangarappa, is expected once again in Sorab, with Congress fielding Madhu Bangarappa from the seat, while BJP is likely to field sitting MLA Kumar Bangarappa from the segment, which is the family bastion.

Other father-son or daughter duo who have made it to the list are former Minister M Krishnappa and son Priyakrishna from Vijayanagar and Govindraj Nagar segments respectively, and former Minister Ramalinga Reddy (Working President) and his daughter Sowmya R from BTM Layout and Jayanagar respectively.

Among the candidates about 30 are Lingayats, SCs 23, Vokkaligas 22, Brahmins 5, among others.

There are eight Muslim candidates in the first list: U T Abdul Khader Ali Fareed (Mangalore), Tanveer Sait (Narasimharaja), N A Haris (Shanti Nagar), Rizwan Arshad (Shivajinagar), Rahim Khan (Bidar), Iqbal Hussain H A (Ramanagara), B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan (Chamrajpet), and Kaneez Fatima (Gulbarga Uttar).

Six women have made it to the first list: Kaneez Fatima, Laxmi Ravindra Hebbalkar (Belgaum Rural), Dr Anjali Nimbalkar (Khanapur), Roopakala M (KGF), Kusuma H (Rajarajeshwarinagar) and Sowmya R (Jayanagar).

Interestingly in the first list, the Congress has not finalised any candidate from Channapatna from where former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy is contesting, and Shiggaavi, from where Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is likely to be fielded by BJP.

Source: Press Trust of India

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