Karnataka Assembly polls: Congress announces 2nd list, no decision yet on Kolar

6 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Karnataka National

The Congress has chosen to support the Sarvodaya Karnataka Party candidate Darshan Puttannaiah, son of the late K S Puttannaiah, in the Melukote constituency.

The Congress Party unveiled its second list of 42 candidates for the Karnataka assembly elections on Thursday, but no decision has been made on who will stand from Kolar, despite former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s indicated willingness to run from the seat. The Congress has also accommodated candidates who defected from the BJP and Janata Dal (Secular). In the forthcoming elections, the party hopes to dethrone the BJP in the state. The Congress has chosen to support the Sarvodaya Karnataka Party candidate Darshan Puttannaiah, son of the late K S Puttannaiah, in the Melukote constituency.

According to sources, the Congress high command has encouraged Siddaramaiah to run from his traditional bastion of Varuna in the Mysuru district, where his son, doctor Yatindra Siddaramaiah, won the 2018 Assembly elections.

According to sources, the Congress High Command had already urged the 75-year-old former chief minister to cancel his plan to fight from the Kolar assembly seat due to differences among the party’s local officials in Kolar.

Meanwhile, former minister Vinay Kulkarni, who has been chosen by the Congress as its candidate for Dharwad, will have to campaign remotely because the Supreme Court has prevented him from entering the area after the CBI accused him in connection with the 2016 murder of BJP activist Yogeeshgouda Goudar.

Kulkarni has been released on bail on the condition that he not enter the district or tamper with the evidence in the murder investigation. Kulkarni is suspected of being engaged in the murder of Goudar on June 15, 2016, after defeating the rival Congress party candidate in the Zila Panchayat elections.

The Central Election Committee of the party will meet again today at 2:30 p.m. in the national capital. Of the 224 seats, 124 were declared in the first list, 42 in the second list, and the remaining will be decided in the meeting this afternoon, according to sources.

On Tuesday, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge stated that the party will hold comprehensive discussions on candidates for the State’s remaining 100 seats. On March 25, the Congress unveiled their first list of 124 candidates for the elections, which included former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and State Party president DK Shivakumar.

Karnataka elections will be held in a single phase on May 10, with vote counting taking place on May 13. Karnataka now has 119 MLAs from the ruling BJP, 75 from the Congress, and 28 from its ally JD(S) in the Legislature.

The State’s political parties, including the ruling BJP, Congress, and ally JD(S), are engaged in a barrage of charges and counter-allegations, with the latter aiming to corner the government on the topic of corruption. The model code of conduct went into effect when the State’s elections were declared.