Sonia seeks Krishna’s help on Karnataka poll candidates

New Delhi/Bangalore, March 29 (IANS) Amid reports of sharp differences among Karnataka Congress leaders over candidates for the May 5 assembly polls, former state chief minister S.M. Krishna arrived in New Delhi Friday to assist Congress president Sonia Gandhi to resolve the issue.

Krishna would meet Gandhi Saturday to help her finalise the names from among the probables chosen by the state Congress leaders, party sources said.
They said Gandhi was seeking Krishna’s help as she was not happy with the list of probables submitted to her. The list is said to have very few women and minority community and youth leaders from the state were also upset over lack adequate representation to them.
The probables list was given to Gandhi by state Congress president G. Parameshwara and party leader in the assembly Siddaramaiah and other state leaders who have been in New Delhi since Monday.
Gandhi seeking Krishna’s help came as a surprise to Congress leaders in the state as he had stayed away from party meetings for several months now as his role was not clearly defined.
When Krishna gave up external affairs minister’s post in October last year, though reluctantly, it was believed that the Congress leadership wants him back in Karnataka to help the party wrest power from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
However he was not given any position and he did not attend any meeting of the state leaders to select probables for the May 5 polls from among over 2000 applicants.
Nominations for the 224 elected seats of the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated member open April 10 and close 17. Vote count is on May 8.
While Congress continued its candidate selection exercise in New Delhi, the ruling BJP said in Bangalore that it was getting ready to release its list in April first week.
Deputy Chief Minister and former state BJP chief K. S. Eshwarappa told reporters in Bangalore that the party has only one name for 120 seats while for the remaining 124 seats, it has more than one.
“We will finalise the names in consultation with our district unit leaders,” Eshwarappa said.