Karnataka Polls: Congress announces 218 candidates, Siddaramaiah to contest from Chamundeshwari

Apr 16, 2018, 04:39
Karnataka Polls: Congress announces 218 candidates, Siddaramaiah to contest from Chamundeshwari

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, 69, will contest from Chamundeshwari in Mysuru, where he had contested seven times since 1983 and won five times.

His son Yathindra who is entering politics officially with this election will contest from the constituency of Varuna.

The party has fielded G.B. Malathesh against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa from Shikaripura.

During prolonged discussions, Mr Siddaramiah however reportedly strongly asserted that he should be given a free hand to pick candidates of his choice rather than accept ones imposed on him from all quarters.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader disclosed that the tussle was reduced from 25 contentious seats till Friday evening to 10-12 seats by Saturday evening. In view of such a stand adopted by Mr Siddaramaiah, the leader seems set to have a major say in the selection process, the leader added.

An opinion poll by India Today has predicted that the Congress will emerge as the single largest party and BJP may not be able to secure enough seats to dislodge the Siddaramaiah government. The results of the election will be out on 15 May. Counting of votes will take place three days later.

Some of the Karnataka party leaders feel that the tickets need to be given to the winning candidates and expressed apprehensions about the loyalty of those joining the Congress ahead of elections, they said. The BJP may win 78-86 seats, almost double to its last tally in 2013, while JD (S) is expected to win 34-43 seats and may play a role of kingmaker in the state. Among the 15 women - an unprecedented number since only 10 were given tickets in the 2013 state polls - picked by the Congress to contest the polls are the widows of MLAs Qamarul Islam and Mahadev Prasad, who died in the last one year, and the daughter of Rudresh Gowda, an MLA who died a couple of months ago. In Melukote, the Congress is likely to support the candidate from Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, a farmers' party whose leader K S Puttannaiah died recently of heart attack.

The Congress had secured 37 per cent vote in 2013 to win 122 seats.

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