The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee has taken some “hard decisions” to field strong candidates in some constituencies to defeat incumbent MPs of Opposition parties.

Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, KPCC president G. Parameshwara said the State Congress screening committee met in New Delhi on Thursday and finalised candidates for almost all the constituencies. “We have taken some hard decisions which will enable us to increase the party’s tally in the State in the general elections.” Factors such as winnability, youth, women and leadership have been taken into account while finalising candidates, he said.

The screening committee, chaired by Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, discussed all names recommended by the KPCC. AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is in-charge of Karnataka, has been asked to hand over the final list of candidates to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who also heads the party’s Central Election Committee.

A meeting of the Central Election Committee will be held on February 17 in New Delhi after which the list of party candidates will be announced, Dr. Parameshwara said. The party has nine members in the 15t Lok Sabha, and it has decided to give ticket to all incumbent MPs.

KPCC sources said the party has already indicated to UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani to be prepared to contest from Bangalore South. Mr. Nilekani has held a meeting with MLAs of the Congress in the constituency.

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