Sonia rejects K'taka list, bares leaders anti-women bias

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New Delhi, March 28: Why is Sonia Gandhi unhappy with Congress leaders in Karnataka? She is so angry that she has sent back the list of candidates prepared by the squabbling leaders. The reason - it contains the name of only one woman candidate (actress Umashri from Terdal).

The Congress party's Central Election Committee, headed by Sonia Gandhi met today to finalise party candidates for the Karnataka Assembly elections. After a careful scrutiny, the congress president was stunned to notice that the state party bosses have included a lone woman in the list.

This insensitiveness must have rattled Sonia, who has been responsible for pushing through the recent bill on crimes against women and also elevating Pratibha Patil as president of India and making Meira Kumar as Speaker of Lok Sabha.

It is surprising that the Karnataka Congress, which had a longest serving speaker in Nagrathnamma, chose to ignore women.

The state unit of Congress will submit a fresh list and the Central committee will sit on Saturday (March 30) to approve the candidates.

The state screening committee, headed by former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro, completed the list yesterday (Wednesday March 27) after a three-day marathon haggling amid pulls and pressures.

"We have completed our meetings. We have prepared our list of candidates for the elections and sent it to the party CEC which will meet on Thursday and hold further discussions," , a member of the panel.

The differences between KPCC president G Parameshwara and Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah was responsible for delay in preparing the list. They both had their own list of candidates, and it did not contain many women.

The state unit was forced to send two names, recommended by these two leaders for disputed constituencies.
The seat-selection process has kicked up a storm in the Congress with leaders like former external affairs minister S M Krishna left sulking.

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