Bangalore, March 30 (IANS) Karnataka’s ruling BJP Saturday began district-wise candidate selection for the May 5 assembly poll while the Congress continued its exercise for the sixth day in New Delhi.
State BJP president Pralhad Joshi, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and other senior state party leaders along with a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh representative are holding meetings in Bangalore with district unit heads.
“We are meeting our district unit leaders to select the candidates,” Shettar told reporters ahead of the meeting.
The state has 30 districts and elections are to be held for 224 seats in the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated member.
Shettar declined to indicate when the names would be announced, though several state leaders had said that it would be in April’s first week.
Indications are that all parties – the BJP, the Congress, the Janata Dal-Secular and new outfit Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) headed by former BJP leader B. S. Yedyurappa, would release most of the names only after nomination process start April 10. The nominations close April 17.
This is to minimize rebel candidates in the field as many of those denied tickets jump into the electoral battle as independents denting the prospects of the official nominee.
So far only KJP has released the names of candidates for 69 seats.
Congress’ central and state leaders have been grappling with the candidate selection from Monday in New Delhi.
State Congress president G. Parameshwara and other leaders have been in the national capital since Monday having discussions with central leaders to finales the names from over 2,000 aspirants.
The state leaders had shortlisted around 700 names from the aspirants and submitted them to the central leadership for final selection.
They have had one meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi who has sought assistance of state Congress veteran and former chief minister S. M. Krishna to finalise the names.