Karnataka polls: Probe into Cong sale of tickets

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Bangalore, April 9: With the demand being high this was bound to happen. The Congress party, facing allegations of selling party tickets, has decided to investigate the charges.

The party has formed a committee with AK Antony and Ambika Soni as members to prepare a report on the controversy even as it struggles to release the second list for the Karnataka Assembly elections slated for May 5.

Till now the Congress has announced candidates for 177 constituencies out of the 224 and this itlself has generated so much drama because there are indications that the party may return to power in the state.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dr. G. Parameshwara said that leaders making such charges will be asked to appear before the panel.

There were more than 2,400 aspirants for the Congress tickets.

Demonstrations in front of the KPCC Bhavan in Bangalore by candidates lobbying for tickets have become common. The "overlooking" of candidates in key constituencies has apparently irked them.

Yesterday, the Karnataka High Court ordered an emergent notices to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Parameshwara on a petition seeking a probe into alleged collection of funds from party members seeking tickets for the Assembly polls.

Justice Abdul Nazeer ordered issue of notices also to the Election Commission and state Chief Electoral Officer on the plea by V Shashidhar, who, claiming to be a Congress worker and a ticket aspirant, alleged Rs 10,000 each had been collected from such aspirants.

The petitioner's advocate, G R Mohan, prayed for a writ of mandamus to EC to formulate proper guidelines and procedures to prevent funds collection for the polls by political parties, specially Congress president and PCC chief.

"They have no authority of law to collect a sum of Rs 10,000 from each of its members for the Assembly elections 2013. The total amount collected from about 2,500 members, may be more than Rs two crore," the petitioner claimed.

The counsel submitted that the petitioner, along with other applicants for the assembly tickets, were required to pay Rs 10,000 each for the constituency from where they wished to contest as "party fund".

The petitioner had remitted the sum by demand draft for which a receipt was issued by the KPCC president, he said.

With PTI inputs

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