Win in Karnataka would be a huge psychological thing for the Congress which would then plot to upset the BJP's apple-cart in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh where Assembly polls are to be held by year-end. Davanagere contestant Shamanur Shivashanarappa, 86, is the oldest Congress candidate in the fray, whlle 26-year-old H S Manjunath Gowda (Mahalakshmi Layout) is the youngest.
Interestingly, after the Central Committee meeting last month, the party had given a call to defeat the BJP in the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls and announced its decision to support the "strongest candidates" to defeat the saffron party, besides fielding its own nominees in 18-19 seats. Law minister T B Jayachandra's son Santosh Jayachandra was given a ticket from the Chikanayakanhalli Assembly seat (Tumkur). Mahadevappa, who wanted to contest from another seat, will now have to contest from T Narsipurelection: 15 women in Congress list.
Out of the total candidates, 52 are OBCs, 48 and 39 from the Lingayat and the Vokalliga communities respectively, 36 from the Schedule Castes (SC) and 17 from Schedule Tribes (STs), party source said. According to party insiders, M Srinivas was earlier tipped to get the ticket. The supporters said Srinivas would contest as a rebel candidate. Sitting MLAs who were denied a ticket include Basavaraj Shivannavar from Badgy, Manohar Tehsildar from Hangal, Shiv Moorti Nayak from Mycunda, Turuverevere from Shriniwas and Sharabsherry from Tiptur.
The present and former lawmakers of Congress - those holding offices in the zilla parishad, civic bodies, and the panchayat samitis - will take part in the launch event that is aimed at sensitising the attendees on the current state of affairs with regard to the community. The new faces in the Congress list include Bengaluru Mayor R Sampath Raj.