The Janata Dal (Secular), which has finalised candidates for some important Assembly seats, may release the first list of 160 candidates by March 23.

Party’s State unit president H.D. Kumaraswamy told journalists here on Saturday that Anitha Kumaraswamy would be fielded from Channapatna and the former IPS officer Subhash Bharani from Gandhinagar, Bangalore.

The JD(S) Parliamentary Board would meet on March 19 to finalise the first list, and it would be announced after approval by party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda. Ms. Anitha Kumaraswamy is MLA for Madhugiri (Tumkur) now, and Mr. Kumaraswamy said a senior party leader would be fielded from there.

The party was planning to field Dalit leaders in general constituencies, he added.

The candidates would take an oath in front of their constituents that they would uphold the trust reposed in them after their election. “It is an attempt to create confidence among the electorate, who have been disillusioned by defections in the last four years,” he said.

“The selection committee collected as much information as possible about candidates before shortlisting them. Information provided by candidates, including those about their assets and liabilities, will be uploaded on the party’s official website,” he said. He clarified that the party ticket would not be given to those facing criminal charges. However, an exception would be made for those facing cases owing to political vendetta, he said.

Ruling out ticket to “political opportunists,” the former Chief Minister said this did not apply to second-rung leaders. Pointing to the admission of the former Minister G.T. Deve Gowda into the JD(S), Mr. Kumaraswamy asserted that though Mr. Gowda was “physically” in the BJP, “mentally” he was with the JD(S).