Kharge, Dharam Singh, Vishwanath and Moily among those re-nominated

The Congress is trying to play safe by re-nominating all its nine incumbent MPs from the State for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April 17 in Karnataka. The decision was taken at a meeting of the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC), chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in New Delhi on Friday.

The meeting, attended by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, reportedly cleared the candidates, including Infosys co-founder and Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani from Bangalore South, for 19 constituencies.

‘Final list in two days’

“The Congress high command will release the final list of candidates in two days,” sources in the KPCC told The Hindu.

The nine incumbent MPs, who have been re-nominated are: Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge (Gulbarga-SC), N. Dharam Singh (Bidar), A.H. Vishwanath (Mysore), K. Jayaprakash Hegde (Udupi-Chikmagalur), D.K. Suresh (Bangalore Rural), Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily (Chickballapur), Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises K.H. Muniyappa (Kolar-SC), Ramya (Mandya) and R. Dhruvanarayana (Chamarajanagar). The high command has reportedly cleared the names of candidates for nine other constituencies, and they include Minister for Small-Scale Industries and Muzrai Prakash B. Hukkeri (Chikkodi), N.Y. Hanumathappa (Bellary), S.S. Mallikarjun (Davangere), Prakash Rathod (Bijapur), Laxmi R. Hebbalkar (Belgaum), Ajaykumar Sarnaik (Bagalkot), and Arkalgud MLA A. Manju (Hassan), Muddahanume Gowda (Tumkur) and Manjunath Bhandary (Shimoga).

Caste considerations

Sources in the KPCC said the party is expected to announce candidates for Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Chitradurga, Raichur, Koppal and Bangalore Central constituencies, taking caste and other factors into consideration, after the BJP announces its list of candidates.

Primaries

Candidates for Bangalore North and Dakshina Kannada constituencies would be selected through what is described as a completely transparent and democratic process called the primaries, by holding internal polls, the Congress leaders said.

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