Four former Congress rebels figure in the first list of candidates finalised by the party on Thursday for around 100 of the 224 Assembly seats in Karnataka, which goes to polls on May 5.

The rebels, who are Independent MLAs, had served as Ministers in the BJP government, sources said.

Discussions

In a meeting of the central election committee chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi, the party held threadbare discussions on the names of candidates suggested by the AICC’s screening committee.

The Independents given tickets are: P.M. Narendra Swamy, Venkataramanappa, D. Sudhakar and Shivaraj Tangadagi. The lone Congress rebel and Independent MLA who does not figure in the list is Goolihatti Shekhar, the sources said.

Most of the remaining candidates are likely to be finalised in the second meeting of the CEC on March 30.

A number of Congress MLAs had resigned from their seats, which they later contested as BJP candidates in by—polls and won under Operation Lotus, when B S Yeddyurappa was Chief Minister. — PTI

No rift: Siddaramaiah

Special Correspondent reports from Bangalore:

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah on Thursday claimed there were no differences between them and the party was united to face the ensuing elections to the State legislative Assembly on May 5.

Speaking to presspersons after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the national capital, both leaders said there were no differences between them and denied any rift on any issue, contrary to what was being reported.

They said the list of candidates to contest elections would be finalised on Mach 30. They also discussed guidelines to be adopted while finalising candidates for the elections. It is learnt that the party decided to not field candidates who have lost the last three elections and lost over margin of 25,000 in the last elections. Leaders also discussed issues related to giving ticket to Rajya Sabha members and kin of party leaders.

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