New Delhi: Buoyed by its recent success in civic polls in Karnataka where it is keen to wrest back power, Congress on Wednesday formed a high-powered co-ordination and monitoring committee headed by Defence Minister AK Antony for the May 5 Assembly elections in the southern state. The election process in the state starts with the issue of notification on April 10 when candidates can start filing their nominations for its 224-member state Assembly.
The model code of conduct has come into effect on Wednesday with announcement of election schedule. While Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Antony to head the group for the forthcoming assembly elections in Karnataka, its other members include former Union Minister Ambika Soni, Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Jitendra Singh.
AICC general secretary and incharge of Karnataka affairs Madhusudan Mistri, Karnataka PCC chief G Parmeshwar and CLP leader Siddaramaiah will also be ex-officio members of the Committee. With the ruling BJP in the state struggling ever since former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa quit the party and floated his own outfit, Congress is hoping for revival of its fortunes in the state.
Karnataka saw BJP forming the first government of its own in any southern state. Congress had earlier formed another Screening Committee headed by senior party leader Luizinho Faleiro for poll-bound Karnataka.
Union Minister Jitender Singh and AICC general secretary in-charge for the state Madhusudan Mistri besides State PCC chief G Parmeshwar and CLP leader Siddaramaiah are its other members. The Election Commission earlier during the day announced the schedule for elections in Karnataka.
Karnataka has 224 Assembly constituencies, 36 of which are reserved for SCs and 15 for STs. There are a total of 4.18 crore voters in Karnataka and as many as 50,446 polling stations will set up. The tenure of the current Assembly expires on June 3.