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Discussions in Cong to field 7-8 Ministers in LS polls in Karnataka, says senior leader Parameshwara

Bengaluru, Mar 11 (PTI) Senior Congress leader and Home Minister G Parameshwara on Monday said there are discussions in the party that seven to eight Ministers should contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.

Bengaluru, Mar 11 (PTI) Senior Congress leader and Home Minister G Parameshwara on Monday said there are discussions in the party that seven to eight Ministers should contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.

He, however, said the party will ultimately decide as to who the candidates should be for the 28 Lok Sabha segments.

'There are discussions that seven to eight Ministers should contest, among the Ministers. Whoever agrees in the interest of the party, they will be fielded. There may be some clarity on it after today's meeting (of the screening committee),' Parameshwara told reporters here.

Asked about Social Welfare Minister H C Mahadevappa not willing to contest, he said, 'He (Mahadevappa) is saying that he doesn't want to contest and the ticket be given to his son. Party will ultimately decide whether it will be Mahadevappa or his son or someone else. He cannot be pressured if he doesn't want to (contest).' Efforts are on to pacify those upset or disgruntled about selection of candidates, to ensure that they work in the party's interest, he said, adding that 'such things are common during polls.' Congress has announced candidates for seven seats of Karnataka in the first list Interestingly, Congress' first list did not have names of any of the ministers and legislators, amid reports that they are reluctant to fight the Lok Sabha polls.

According to party sources, the Congress leadership has been making efforts to convince some ministers and lawmakers to contest, as they have faced problems in identifying winnable candidates in several segments.

The Ministers instead are said to be pushing for the candidature of their family members to 'ensure' the party's victory in their respective segments, and according to sources, the leadership seem to be worried about the message it may send out if their kin are fielded.

Meanwhile, state Congress President and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said the party's screening committee will meet today evening to finalise the candidates.

'We are meeting in the evening, we don't have the rights to announce the candidate. We will send it to Delhi, the Central Election Committee will meet there and may accept or reject our recommendation. They may add names into the list on their own and announce,' he said.

On some Ministers like Mahadevappa and K H Muniyappa not keen on contesting the polls, he said, 'do you know about it? I don't know, haven't spoken to them.' PTI KSU RS RS

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