Parameshwara defends his statement on selection of MLC candidates

PTI, May 29, 2024, 4:01 PM IST

Bengaluru: Home Minister G Parameshwara on Wednesday defended his statement that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and State Congress president D K Shivakumar should not finalise party candidates for upcoming MLC polls on their own, saying there was nothing wrong in it.

Noting that he suggested setting up a screening or a high power committee comprising senior party leaders to select the candidates, the Congress leader said it is too late now as the selection process seems to have reached the final stage, while the matter has reached the party high command in New Delhi.

The senior Congress leader had said Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, should not unilaterally decide on the MLC candidates.

His statement comes against the backdrop of the leaders’ trip to New Delhi, to discuss with the party high command candidates for biennial election to 11 seats in Karnataka Legislative Council.

“There is no need to interpret my statement wrongly. What I said is there is a process of consulting everyone. I’m someone who has worked as the party President, consult is what I have said. No one can say what I have said is wrong. What will happen if consulted? We are not saying give tickets only to people we suggest,” Parameshwara said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said there are criteria to give tickets, all these things will be considered.

“Let them follow it, no problem. But, there are several people with experience of having served the party, consult such people. This is what I have said, there is nothing wrong in it,” he added.

Reacting to Parameshwara’s remarks, Shivakumar on Tuesday said, “Surely, we will consult them (senior leaders).” Biennial elections to 11 seats of Karnataka Legislative Council to be elected by Members of Legislative Assembly will be held on June 13.

As per the existing strength of parties in the Assembly, the Congress can win 7, BJP can win three and JD(S) one seat.

To a question whether he referred any names for the MLC elections, Parameshwara said, “When I have not been asked, how can I refer?” Asked why the CM and state Congress chief did not consult a senior leader like him, the minister said, “I don’t know about it. I have said what I have to.” In response to a question, Parameshwara said with too many aspirants he had suggested forming a screening committee or a high power committee to decide on candidates, but it is too late now, as the CM and KPCC chief have already gone to Delhi.

“I don’t know how many applications have come (from ticket aspirants). I saw in the newspapers our Presidents saying that more than 300 have come. It is difficult for them (leadership) too for screening. So I suggested forming a screening committee, a high power committee and discussing with them, each one will give suggestions. Probably it is late now, because after taking a flight to Delhi, different things will happen there… Let’s see in the future,” he said.

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