Cong, BJP scramble to finalise candidates' list in Karnataka

Karnataka map
Bangalore, March 6: Principal players ruling Congress and BJP have gone into overdrive, scrambling to finalise the list of candidates to face the high-stake battle in Lok Sabha polls just six weeks from now.

BJP seems to be ahead of Congress as it has finalised the names of candidates for at least 21 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs in the state, where it is going the whole hog to replicate the 2009 success that yielded 19 seats to it.

It will be a single-phase poll in Karnataka on April 17. Election preparedness was launched in right earnest by Congress but it is still grappling with the list of candidates with KPCC President G Paramshwara indicating that the names are expected to be finalised sometime soon.

Having re-established its hold with a spectacular victory in the May 8 Assembly polls last year that brought it to power after a long hiatus, Congress is aiming at maximising the advantage and is even toying with the idea of fielding some state ministers.

Another significant player JDS of former Prime Minister H D Devegowda which pushed BJP to third place in terms of percentage of votes in the Assembly polls, has said it would announce its list of candidates for all the 28 constituencies in two or three days.

Its state unit president and son of Deve Gowda, H D Kumaraswamy, whose party is accused of practising dynastic politics, said JDS had not yet taken any decision on fielding his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy or son Nikhil Gowda. In the 2009 polls, BJP had grabbed 19 seats, Congress six and JDS three in a clear-cut three-way contest, a big picture that will manifest in the current polls too.

Brought to its heels with a humiliating defeat in the Assembly polls that saw collapse of its first-ever government in the south India, BJP has this time got its act together in time, having ensured the return of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa back to its fold.


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