The Congress in Karnataka on Saturday denied ticket to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to contest from the constituency of Kolar.

The party released its third list of 43 candidates for the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka.

It fielded former Mulbagal MLA Kothur G Manjunath from Kolar – the second seat from where Siddaramaiah wanted to contest. Siddaramaiah, the leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, will now contest from his home turf of Varuna in Mysuru district.

Several senior state Congress leaders had reportedly opposed Siddaramaiah contesting from two seats. The Congress high command asked him to drop the plan saying Varuna, which is currently represented by his son Yathindra Siddaramaiah, is a safer bet, according to The News Minute.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will address a rally on Sunday in Kolar, the same place where he delivered a speech ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which he referred to thieves as having the surname Modi.

On March 23, a court in Surat sentenced the Congress politician to two years imprisonment for the remark.

On Saturday, Manjunath told reporters that he was surprised to find his name in the list since he along with other leaders from Kolar had expected Siddaramaiah to contest from there, PTI reported.

“I had not applied for a ticket from Kolar,” he said. “Looking at my good organisational work, the party might have considered me for Kolar instead of Mulbagal as I have a case going on there.”

In 2018, the Karnataka High Court had disqualified him as an MLA from Mulbagal on charges of furnishing an illegal caste certificate.

With the third list of 43 candidates, the Congress has so far announced the nominees for 209 out of total 224 Assembly seats. The party has given tickets to at least 16 new candidates in the third list, according to PTI.

Former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who joined the Congress on Friday after quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party, will fight the elections from Athani constituency in Belagavi district.

Former Union minister Margaret Alva’s son Nivedit Alva will contest from Kumta constituency against BJP leader Dinakar Shetty.