The Congress, which has announced candidates for 24 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State, is facing a tricky situation in finalising names for three constituencies — Dharwad, Haveri and Uttara Kannada.
In Bangalore North, the candidate selection process, through internal polls (primary), has been completed and C. Narayanswamy, who joined the Congress from the Janata Dal(S) a few months ago, has been selected. The official announcement of his name is just a formality now, according to sources.
The sources said that the party did not want to face any kind of embarrassment in these three constituencies, especially in the wake of resentment among a section of party workers following the denial of ticket to veteran Congress leader C.K. Jaffer Sharief.
Upset over the party not having considered his candidature for the Bangalore Central constituency, Mr. Sharief is contemplating joining the Janata Dal(S). He had had a meeting with Janata Dal(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda on Saturday.
In Dharwad, apart from the former MP Manjunath Kannur, another former MP I.G. Sanadi, the former Ministers A.M. Hindasgeri and C.M. Ibrahim, Mr. Sanadi’s son, Shakir Sanadi, the former Shiggaon MLA Ajjampeer Khadri and Lohit Naikar, son of the former MP D.K. Naikar, are in the race.
In Haveri, which is considered to be a Muslim-dominated area, the competition is between the former Gadag MLA D.R. Patil (a cousin of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H.K. Patil) and Saleem Ahmed, Director-General of Nehru Yuva Kendra. The latter contested from this constituency in 2009, eventually losing to the BJP’s Shivakumar Udasi.
The sources said that the decision to name the candidate from Dharwad will largely depend on who gets ticket in Haveri. If a Muslim candidate is fielded in Haveri, then it will be a non-Muslim one in Dharwad.
In Uttara Kannada, the race is between Prasad Deshpande and Nivedith Alva, with the former’s father Higher Education Minister, R.V. Deshpande, and the latter’s mother, Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva, vying with one another to land the seat for their sons. AICC general secretary B.K. Hariprasad is also among ticket aspirants.