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Eyeing a return to power, the ruling Congress in Karnataka will embark on a series of state wide tours, in the run up to the 2018 assembly polls. In the first phase, ChiefMinister Siddaramaiah will tour about 124constituencies, predominantly represented by Congress MLAs to launch a series of government programmes from December 13, KPCC chiefG Parameshwara said. Following this, a team led by Pradesh Congress Committee will tour the remaining 100 odd constituenciesthat are not represented by the party in the current assembly. In the second phase, all state Congress leaders including the chief minister together will be touring across thestate from March first week, he said. "Dates are yet to befinalised.
It will be party programme," the KPCC chief told reporters here. BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa has already embarked on a state wide tour-- 'Karnataka Parivartana Yatre.' On the other hand, JD(S)' H D Kumaraswamy is visiting parts of the statein a specially designed bus under the campaign banner 'Kumara Parva'. Siddaramaiah's state wide tour to launch various government programmes, where he will be predominantly visiting constituencies represented by Congress MLAs, has drawn flak from opposition parties. Responding to the allegations that the chief minister wastouring for party propaganda using public money, Parameshwaraclarified that Siddaramaiah will also be visiting constituencies of other party MLAs. "Wherever possible, chief minister will also be visiting constituencies of BJP and JDS MLAs," he said. The KPCC chief also said the party will mostprobably begin the process to select candidates in about 15 days by appointing observers. District in-charge ministers have been directed to take more responsibility in their respective districts. Responding to a question, he said the party's central election committee will decide on tickets tositting MLAs and the number of people from one family who can get the ticket. He also noted that the report on a survey conducted bythe party along with confidential report from the district committee is still awaited. "They will all be considered while selecting candidates," he said. Congress had earlier announced a survey to collect data to help it select candidates and decide strategy for the 2018 assembly polls. He asserted that there were no differences between himand the chief minister. Media reports in this regard were"false", Parameshwara said, adding, "we will tour together and take decisions together." "In the last seven years that I have been PCC President,there have been no differences between us. We are workingcollectively and are fulfilling our respective responsibilities," he said.
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