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Karnataka polls: Congress releases fifth list, changes candidate against CM Bommai from Shiggaon Assembly constituency

Bengaluru: The Congress on Wednesday released its fifth list of candidates for the Karnataka Assembky polls, fielding Yasir Ahmed Khan Pathan against incumbent Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai from the Shiggaon Assembly constituency.

Earlier, the party had named Mohammed Yousuf Savanur for the seat. Dr BC Muddugangadhar will be contesting from Mulbagal (SC) seat, DK Mohan will shoulder the party's hopes from KR Pura and AC Srinivasa has been fielded from the Pulakeshinagar seat.

Earlier in the day, Congress released its star campaigners list for the elections, which featured party's national president Mallikarjun Kharge, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, state chief DK Shivakumar, LoP Siddaramaiah, Shashi Tharoor former BJP leader and deputy chief minister Jagadish Shettar, among others.

However, a notable absentee from the list was former Union minister Sachin Pilot.

Also on the list of 40-star campaigners, which the Congress unveiled on Wednesday, was Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Earlier on Wednesday, senior Congress leader and former CM Siddaramaiah filed his nomination for the state polls. Speaking to reporters after officially entering the fray, he said the Congress was a secular party and won't seek votes on the basis of caste.
Siddaramaiah filed his nomination from the Varuna Assembly constituency.

"Congress is a secular party. We are not seeking votes on the basis of caste. We are hopeful of garnering votes from across communities, including Linagayts, Vokkaligas and others," Siddaramaiah told reporters.
The last date for filing nominations is April 20.

Congress leader Jagadish Shettar also filed his nomination from the Hubli-Dharwad-Central Assembly constituency.
Shettar was the second senior leader from the Lingayat community to leave the ruling BJP and join Congress in less than a week. Earlier, former Karnataka deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi, also a Lingayat leader, joined the Congress after being denied a ticket by the saffron party.
Shettar is pitted against BJP's Mahesh Tenginkai in the May 10 polls.

Earlier, on April 7, Karnataka's Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Assembly and former CM, Siddaramaiah, said the upcoming elections will be his last electoral battle as he will retire from politics after.

"I am contesting from Varuna constituency as my native village falls within the precincts of this Assembly segment. This is going to be my last election. Thereafter, I will retire from electoral politics," Siddaramaiah told ANI earlier.
The Congress leader added that while he will still be in active politics post the Karnataka polls, he won't accept any party posts that would require him to shift base to Delhi.
The process of nominations has picked up momentum in Karnataka, with senior leaders from all the key electoral players in the southern state filing their papers.
The counting of votes for the Karnataka Assembly will take place on May 13. (ANI)

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