Congress Karnataka unit chief DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said the party high command will decide the candidates for the MLC election amid growing clamour in the party to select low-profile grassroots-level workers just as BJP chose its two Rajya Sabha members.
The elections to the seven MLC seats are due on June 29 and the last date for filing nominations is June 18. These seven members will be elected by the MLAs.
Of the seven seats, the BJP is likely to win four seats, the Congress two and the JD(S) one seat given their strength in the assembly. The ruling BJP has 116 members excluding Speaker, Congress 68 and the JD(S) 34 members in the assembly.
"We have to inform the high command about the aspirants and send all the applications. There are over 200 applications for the two seats," Shivakumar told reporters after meeting the Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah regarding the selection of candidates to contest the MLC election.
"We will not take away their right (to contest election)," he added.
There is hectic lobbying going on in Congress. More than 200 people have applied for the two seats of which at least 20 are the top contenders, party insiders said.
Many young Congress workers are demanding that they be sent to the legislative council just as BJP sent dark horses Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti to the Rajya Sabha springing a surprise.
The election is necessitated as the term of seven MLCs -- Naseer Ahmed, Jayamma, MC Venugopal, NS Bose Raju, HM Revanna (all Congress), T A Sharavana (JDS) and independent DU Mallikarjuna -- will end on June 30.