Karnataka polls: Cong releases 3rd list; Siddaramaiah refused ticket from Kolar

| Updated: 15 April, 2023 3:21 pm IST

It’s official. Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, who was requesting a second seat of Kolar assembly in Karnataka, will not contest from two seats as the party has fielded Kothur G Manjunath from the assembly seat. The Congress has also fielded former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who quit the BJP and joined Congress on Friday, from Athani assembly seat in the state.

The details were shared after the Congress released the third list of 43 candidates for the Karnataka Assembly election scheduled on May 10. The candidate list was announced after the Congress’ Central Election Committee cleared the names during a late-night meeting on Thursday.

So far, the Congress has announced 209 candidates in the 224 state assembly. The party had announced 124 candidates, including the name of Siddaramaiah from Varuna assembly seat in Mysuru, currently represented by his son Yathindra Siddaramaiah, in the first list. Meanwhile, the party fielded Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar from his traditional Kanakpura assembly seat. In the second list, the party announced 42 candidates.

Savadi, a former Deputy Chief Minister and an influential Lingayat community leader, has been fielded from Athani assembly seat, but the BJP has fielded sitting MLA Mahesh Kumathalli. Savadi is a three-time MLA from Athani but lost in the 2018 elections to Kumathalli (then in the Congress). Kumathalli was among the group of defectors who helped the BJP to bring down the Congress-JD(S) coalition and form its government under the leadership of B S Yediyurappa in 2019 in the southern state. This development is expected to have an impact on the dynamics of the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will kick off his Karnataka campaign from Kolar on April 16, the place where he made the ‘Modi surname’ remarks in 2019. On March 23, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha MP after a defamation suit was filed against him in Gujarat, following a Surat court sentencing him to two years in jail. On March 24, the ex-Congress president was disqualified from the Lok Sabha under a rule that bars convicted MPs from holding Lok Sabha membership, after being found guilty of defaming the entire Modi community in a case filed by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi.

Days later, he was directed to vacate his official residence in New Delhi, which was allotted to him as an MP, with the deadline set for April 22. Gandhi had made the ‘Modi surname’ remark in April 2019 in Karnataka’s Kolar while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections. He was given the maximum two-year jail term for his offense, but the sentence was suspended for thirty days for him to file an appeal against the order. If the conviction is not overturned, he will be disqualified from contesting elections for the next eight years.

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