Congress announces first list of candidates for Karnataka polls, Siddaramaiah to contest from Varuna

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New Delhi (India), March 25, 2023: The Congress party has released its first list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, featuring prominent leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar.

Both leaders have been reportedly eyeing the Chief Minister’s position if the party wins the polls. The list includes 124 names for a total of 224 constituencies, with Shivakumar contesting again from the Kanakapura constituency and Siddaramaiah receiving a ticket from Varuna in Mysuru, currently held by his son Yathindra Siddaramaiah.

However, the former Chief Minister was hoping to contest from two seats, including Kolar, which was not featured in the first list, raising questions about the party’s strategy.

The first list also includes a majority of sitting MLAs and top state leaders, with 91-year-old Shamanuru Shivashankarappa receiving a ticket from Davanagere South and veteran party leader KH Muniyappa receiving one from the Devanahalli Assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, as the state gears up for the May elections, the Chief Minister’s cabinet has scrapped four percent of the OBC quota reserved for Muslims and replaced it with two percent each for the Lingayats and Vokkaligas, two major communities that traditionally support the ruling BJP. Muslims will now be included under the 10 percent economically weaker section category along with all other groups.

The Congress party’s central election committee, chaired by Mallikarjun Kharge, has cleared the first list of candidates after a meeting in Delhi on March 17, attended by Rahul Gandhi. The Election Commission has yet to announce the schedule for the assembly polls in Karnataka, where Congress aims to overthrow the BJP-led government.

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