BENGALURU: With senior leaders pushing for their own candidates, many demanding tickets for their kin and pressure from the two top leaders for a go-ahead to contest from more than one Assembly constituency left the Central Election Committee (CEC) of Congress with little choice but to defer an announcement of candidates for next month’s polls to the Legislative Assembly to Saturday and probably Sunday.
Though party leaders arrived at a consensus about fielding all sitting legislators, the CEC met twice under chairmanship of party president Rahul Gandhi but could not complete the process of picking about 180 candidates in the first phase of selection, owing to these pulls and pressures.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader said: “The party leaders are not willing to heed the plea of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dr G Parameshwar to contest from two Assembly segments besides accommodating the Chief Minister's son Dr Yatindra in Varuna in Mysuru district.”
The question of allowing these leaders to contest from two seats was reportedly shot down on the ground that it would send a wrong signal to voters that the two key leaders were not confident of entering the fray in their respective constituencies as well as demotivate loyal party workers, the leader said.
In addition, the possibility of the committee denying tickets to about 25 legislators on grounds that the anti-incumbency factor against them was high gave room for all heavyweights to press for their supporters as potential candidates.
"In this category, every top leader is working overtime to push their candidates under the 'winnability' criteria. This is proving to be another roadblock in finalising the list. The list cannot be finalised unless the social engineering formula is finalised. And the social engineering factor that gives representation to all communities, cannot be fixed unless leaders arrive at broader agreement on all 224 seats," the leader added.
The leader also pointed out that much against Mr Gandhi's public posture that party workers must get preference over 'para-dropped' leaders, several senior leaders were mounting pressure on the CEC to approve tickets for their kin....