Karnataka assembly elections: Congress releases list of candidates


Karnataka's ruling Congress on Sunday declared 218 candidates for the May 12 assembly elections, withholding names for remaining six seats of the 224-member house.

The current chief minister of the state Siddaramaiah will contest the elections from Chamundeshwari.

The release of Congress's first list of candidates - expected on Friday - has been put off by a day, in an apparent indication of a tussle within the party on the distribution of tickets.

Karnataka will go to polls on May 12 to elect its representatives for the 225-member assembly.

While the Congress is estimated to win 90-101 seats, its primary challenger BJP is slated to win 78-86 seats.

Yatheendra, son of Siddaramaiah, will contest the elections from Varuna constituency. 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. The party is expected to release its second list today, following the conclusion of the Central Election Committee meeting underway in the national capital. Party sources also said there was discontent among minority leaders also as the party leadership was considering a change of candidates in some constituencies where the Muslim electorate has a huge presence.

Apart from seats tally, the important thing to note in the opinion polls is the vote share percentage. 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 has also given the party ticket Iqbal Ansari - a sitting MLA of Janata Dal (S).

In the outgoing assembly, the Congress has a total of 122 MLAs. The last date for filing nominations is April 24 and withdrawal is April 27.

Speaking to India Today, Congress General Secretary incharge KC Venugopal said the party is clear that workers and winnability matters.