Bangalore, March 23 (IANS) The Congress said Saturday it will name candidates for the May 5 Karnataka assembly poll in April first week.
Nominations open April 10 and close April 17.
"The party candidate screening committee will meet in New Delhi for three days from March 25 and finalise the names which will be submitted to party president Sonia Gandhi for approval," the party said in a statement here.
The screening panel is headed by former Goa chief minister Luzinho Falerio. Party's Karnataka unit chief G. Parameshwara and legislature party leader Siddaramaiah are among its members.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, had its first meeting under the new state president Prahlad Joshi here Saturday to pick its candidates.
Joshi, a Lok Sabha member, named president two days back, formally took over from K.S. Eshwarappa at a function in party office here Saturday.
The BJP list too would be sent to New Delhi for final approval by the party central leadership.
The third major party in the state, the Janata Dal-Secular said Saturday that its first list of nominees would be announced by this month end, contrary to earlier statements that it would be out March 23.
The Karnataka Janata Party headed by former BJP chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has already released the names of candidates for 69 seats.
The state assembly has 225 members, 224 elected and one nominated.
Vote count is May 8.