Karnataka Congress releases third list, no ticket to Siddaramaiah in Kolar

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Karnataka Congress Siddaramaiah

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (File photo)

Bengaluru/New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday announced its third list of 43 candidates for the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka, and turned down the request of senior leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to contest from the second seat - Kolar.

Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who joined the Congress on Friday, has got the ticket from Athani in Belagavi district.

Also, senior JD(S) leader K M Shivalinge Gowda, who had joined the Congress recently, has been fielded from Arsikere.

The Congress has announced tickets to at least 16 fresh faces in the third list.

They include former Union Minister and Opposition's nominee for the Vice President polls Margaret Alva's son Nivedit Alva, and former state Minister Motamma's daughter Nayana Jyothi Jhawar.

The party on March 25 announced the first list of 124 candidates, and second list for 42 constituencies (including in Melukote where it's backing a candidate of a different party) on April 6.

With the third list of 43 candidates, the party has so far announced the nominees for 209 out of total 224 seats.

The Congress has fielded Kothur G Manjunath from Kolar, the second seat from where Siddaramaiah wanted to contest.

While Siddaramaiah's name was announced as candidate from his home turf of Varuna in the first list itself, the Congress legislature party leader had maintained that he wished to contest from Kolar too, as the second seat, if the party high command agrees.

Siddaramaiah who currently represents Badami in Bagalkote district, had earlier announced that he will be contesting from Kolar, but backtracked after party leadership reportedly cautioned him regarding the "risks" there, following which he opted for his earlier constituency Varuna, which is currently represented by his son Dr Yathindra Siddaramaiah.

However, Siddaramaiah under pressure from supporters and workers to contest from Kolar too, has been maintaining that he has expressed desire to the party leadership to contest from there, as his second seat, to the Congress high command and it is up to them to decide.

Several senior state Congress leaders had reportedly opposed Siddaramaiah contesting from two seats.

Former Minister Revu Naik Belamagi, who had quit the BJP and joined Congress in 2022, has been fielded from Gulbarga Rural, while former JD(S) MLA N H Konareddy, who joined the party in 2021, is a candidate from Navalgund.

Amid doubts about Kusumavathi C Shivalli getting a ticket from Kundgol, the party has renominated her.

The Congress has not announced a candidate to Shiggaon Assembly segment yet from where Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is the BJP candidate.

Speculations are rife that Congress is planning to field a strong candidate against Bommai, and is considering fielding former Minister Vinay Kulkarni, who has already got a ticket from Dharwad.