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Karnataka Cong President DKS Tightens Grip On Party, Makes It Tough For Leaders To Contest From Two Constituencies

It was an exercise to filter non-serious ticket aspirants for upcoming Karnataka assembly elections next year.  Tightening grip on party, KPCC president DK Shivakumar had asked ticket aspirants to avail forms paying Rs 5,000 and submit the applications with a demand draft of Rs 2 lakhs between November 5 and 15. When he found that at least 35 sitting MLAs, particularly senior leaders like G Parameshwar and former CM Siddaramaiah had not responded to his call for applications; he extended the deadline to November 21. Finally 1,100 applications were received and out of which 945 were submitted with a DD of Rs 2 lakh for the general category and Rs 1 lakh for SC & ST aspirants. Party sources said while the high fee ensured only serious applicants remained in the fray, the Congress was richer by Rs 55 lakh. The party picked about Rs 20 crore in the form of DD. Shivakumar also made it clear that aspirants will be allowed to apply for one seat. Restricting the contest to a single seat could put seniors like Siddaramaiah in a spot. Last time, Siddaramaiah had contested from two seats and lost in one. Shivakumar has already submitted his application seeking a ticket from Kanakapura constituency in Ramanagara district. Siddaramaiah is yet to finalise his constituency but may not contest from his incumbent Badami seat as it is far from Bengaluru.