Bengaluru: The opposition Congress has shortlisted six names for the June 29 biennial elections to seven seats in the Karnataka Legislative Council, an official said on Tuesday.
“Though 40 members applied for tickets to contest in the Council bypolls, the party’s state unit has shortlisted six of them for selection by our high command in New Delhi,” party official M.A. Saleem told IANS here.
The shortlisted persons are Muddahanumegowda, S. Manohar, Saleem Ahmed, H.M. Revanna, M. R. Seetharam and Naseer Ahmed.
“The names were shortlisted by the party’s state unit president D.K. Shivakumar in consultation with senior leaders Mallikarun Kharge and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah,” said Saleem.
Kharge, 77, was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha on June 12 as the party’s lone candidate.
Siddaramaiah is the Congress legislative party (CLP) leader in the Assembly.
Of the seven outgoing Council members, five are from the Congress and one each from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and an Independent.
The five outgoing Congress members are Naseer, Jayamma, M.C. Venugopal, N.S. Bose Raju and Revanna.
Revanna and Naseer have sought re-nomination, while Seetharam is a former Council member, who was a minister in the Congress government from 2013-18.
Muddahanumegowda is the party’s former Lok Sabha member from Tumkur (2014-19), who could not re-contest in the May 2019 general elections, as the ticket was given to JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda under a pre-poll alliance between the former coalition partners.
Gowda, however, lost to BJP’s G.S. Basavaraj.
Saleem is the party’s state unit working president.
“As the last date for filing nominations is June 18, the high command will select the two contestants on Wednesday to enable them file the papers on Thursday,” said Saleem.
With 68 legislators in the 225-member Assembly, the party will be able to ensure the victory of its two candidates as each requires 28 votes to win the contest.
With 34 members, the JD-S will be able to ensure victory for only one candidate to replace its outgoing member T.A. Sharavana, who is keen to re-contest.
“Our party high command will decide the candidate on Wednesday as our former MLC Y.S. Dutta is also in the race for the ticket,” a JD-S official said.
Of the 75-member Council, the opposition Congress has 37 members, BJP 19, JD-S 16, two Independents and one Chairman.