Parties finalising candidates for assembly polls in Karnataka

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Bangalore, Apr 8 (UNI) With the election to Karnataka assembly round the corner, major political parties including Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) and Janata Dal(S) were running against time to finalise the list of candidates.

The BJP, which was ahead of the other two parties in finalising its candidates had finalised its first list of over 125 candidates, which is likely to be announced by the party high command on April ten,party sources said.

Party's Karnataka-in-charge for election campaign Arun Jaitley had so far conducted two meetings of BJP's Core Committee last week, in which he had issued guidelines to be followed in the process of selection of the candidates and poll campaign schedules.

BJP was in contact with prominent Congress and JD(S) leaders to lure them into the party-fold in the run-up to the May elections.

Last week it inducted two former ministers, Muniyappa Muddappa (JD-S) and B Mahadev (Congress).

Hectic activities were also being witnessed in the Congress camp.

Senior leaders including S M Krishna, N Dharam Singh, C K Jaffer Sharief, Siddaramaiah and KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge have finalised party's election campaign.

Congress had planned to launch its campaign by holding farmers 'thanks giving rallies' from April 14 at Davanagere, followed by State-level women Convention at Mandya. This would be followed by 'Social Justice' convention at Kolar and minorities at Gulbarga.

The party's senior leaders were scheduled to meet here tomorrow to finalise a list for the first phase of elections in the Southern districts on May 10.

The party received a large number of applications to contest the elections. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee(KPCC) was in the process of scrutinising the aspirants list and would send it to party high command for ratification, KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge told UNI.

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and JD(S) supremo convened a meeting of top leaders today and discussed about the strategy to be adopted in the elections. The party would not have pre-poll alliance with other political parties and seek verdict on its own strength, he said.

Eleven districts would go to the polls on May ten in the first phase, including Bangalore city, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagaram, Kolar, Chickballapur, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu, Mysore, Tumkur and Chamarajanagar. The notification for election in the districts would be issued on April 16, while the last date of withdrawal of nominations would be on April 24, the sources added.

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