Political parties in Karnataka have intensified the process to select candidates for the November 3 assembly and parliamentary by-polls in the state.
While welcoming the schedule for the assembly by-polls, they had expressed surprise over the Election Commission's decision to hold by elections to three Lok Sabha seats, questioning the need for it in view of the general elections due early next year.
The EC had on Saturday announced that by-pollsfor Shivamogga, Ballari and Mandya Lok Sabha seats and Ramanagara and Jamkhandi assembly constituencies would be held on November 3.
The by-elections were necessitated after BJPs B S Yeddyurappa (Shivamogga) and B Sriramalu (Ballari), and C S Puttaraju of JD(S) (Mandya) resigned as MPs on their election to the assembly in May last.
By-polls to Jamkhandi assembly seat was necessitated following the death of Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, while Ramanagara fell vacant as chief minister H D Kumaraswamy gave up the seat and retained Channapatna, the other segment won byhim in the assembly elections.
The ruling coalition's senior partner, Congresswill hold a series of meetings tomorrow under theleadership of its general secretary in-charge of the stateK C Venugopal to decide on candidates and the possible pollarrangement with its ally, the JD(S).
"Tomorrow morning, a meeting has been called, where party leaders will discuss about the by-electionand decide on the candidates," Pradesh Congress WorkingPresident Eshwar Khandre told reporters here.
Noting that a proposal naming Anand Nyamagouda as the candidate for Jamkhandi has been sent to the party leadership, hesaid names of candidates for Shivamogga, Ballari and Mandya Lok Sabhacandidates would be discussed tomorrow.
During the meetings, the issue of the much awaited expansion of the coalition cabinet is also likely to come up for discussion.
With reports suggesting that the cabinet expansion may getpostponed with the announcement of by-elections in the state,voices of dissent have emerged in the Congress.
On the other hand, JD(S) too is expected to finalise its list of candidates in a couple of days.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, JD(S) supremo andformer Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had yesterday said "wewill decide give us two days' time."
Though the leadership of both coalition partners have maintained their intent to jointly face the elections, they are yet to announce sharing of seats between them.
With local leaders of both parties, especially in Mandya, Shivamogga andRamanagara, expressing reservations over any attempt by theirhigh commands to give up the seat to the otherpartner, it would become a sticky issue to resolve.
Meanwhile, BJP too has begun the process to select its candidates.
"Day after tomorrow (Wednesday) evening we have called a core committee meeting, where we will finalise ourcandidates for the three Lok Sabha constituencies and two Vidhan Sabha constituencies and send it to our nationalpresident for approval," BJP state President B S Yeddyurappa said.
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