Pulling up their socks for Assembly elections, the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have announced the names of contenders for Karnataka going into polls. The ruling Congress, led by incumbent chief minister Siddaramaiah, has announced a list of 218 candidates, while the BJP, led by its CM contender BS Yeddyurappa, has been cautious with the announcement and has only named 154 candidates so far.
Congress, which has moved away from its earlier “one-family, one-ticket” formula, is facing protests from the party leaders who were expecting tickets.
The supporters of ticket-seekers have staged protests across the state with the stir turning violent at several places. Some supporters of many ticket aspirants went berserk damaging Congress offices. Incidents like blocking of the national highway and staging demonstration outside the office of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in Bengaluru were also reported from the state. Protests were also seen in Vijayapura, Tumakuru, Dharwad and Chikkamagaluru districts. The Congress has held back clearance for six other seats.
Unlike the Punjab elections which took place last year, the Congress has given tickets to multiple members from one family. The party has fielded incumbent chief minister and his son, the Home Minister and his daughter, and the Law minister and his son. The party has fielded heavyweights – chief minister Siddaramaiah from Chamundeshwari and state party chief G Parameshwara from Korategere. However, CM Siddaramaiah will contest from only one seat. It was expected that the CM might be in fray from a second constituency, Badami, in north Karnataka’s Bagalkote district.
On the other hand, the BJP has announced names of 154 candidates in two installments. On Monday, the saffron party announced 82 candidates. The list included the elder brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy and son of late chief minister S Bangarappa. Reddy has been fielded from Bellary City, while Kumar Bangarappa will contest from Sorab. G Janardhan Reddy is an accused in illegal mining case. Yeddyurappa’s old associate Krishnaiah Setty has been fielded from Malur.
The BJP is yet to announce tickets on remaining 70 seats in 224 seats assembly.