Congress' first candidates list out, Siddaramaiah to contest from Chamundeshwari

Karnataka Assembly election

Earlier both the BJP and JD (S) had released their first list of candidates.

The Congress today released the list of its 218 candidates for the ensuing Karnataka Assembly polls.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah will contest only from Chamundeshwari, ending speculation that he could contest from Badami too, while KPCC chief G Parameshwara, who came third in the 2013 assembly election, has been given a ticket to contest from Koratagere.

His son Yathindra who is entering politics officially with this election will contest from the constituency of Varuna. A report by Deccan Chronicle had said that ground reports reaching the national headquarters of the BJP indicated that the party's move to project the "tainted" BS Yeddyurappa as their chief ministerial candidate had "not gone down well" with the electorate in Karnataka.

There is a great possibility of releasing the first list of around 180 candidates in a total of 224 constituencies in the state, the sources said.

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Congress MLA NA Haris from Shanti Nagar has not been given a ticket. Karnataka state working committee declared the candidate list today evening.

But what really caused sleepless nights to the BJP top brass was the party's own internal survey, which gave the Congress a lead in more than 100 seats. The party is in power with 122 seats against the BJP's 43.

For the BJP, victory is important not only because the party wants to snatch yet another state from the Congress, but also to deal a blow to the growing perception that Modi can be defeated in 2019. VVPAT machines, apart from EVMs, will be deployed in Karnataka for the polls.

Karnataka will go to polls on May 12 to elect its representatives for the 225-member assembly. The BJP has 44 Members whereas Janata Dal (S) has 40 MLAs. The last date to file nomination is April 24, scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on April 25 and last date to withdraw nomination will be April 27.