Moily lobbies hard for Chikkaballapur ticket

Moily lobbies hard for Chikkaballapur ticket

Union Petroleum Miniser M Veerappa Moily on Monday exuded confidence that the Congress party will re-nominate him from Chikkaballapur Lok Sabha constituency and said he was unaware why his name did not figure in the first list of candidates announced for the State recently.

“I will be the candidate from Chikkaballapur. Have no doubt about it. The party will announce it. Wait for two days,” he told Deccan Herald.

Wary of adverse public reaction after Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal attacked the UPA government for allegedly colluding with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, the Congress is weighing options to announce the candidature of Moily.

Kejriwal, who headed the Delhi government earlier, had ordered filing of an FIR against Moily, former minister Murli Deora and RIL chief Mukesh Ambani for allegedly benefiting the leading private oil company by unduly hiking prices of natural gas drawn from the KG basin.

Kejriwal, who is raising corruption issue in the coming Lok Sabha polls, and his lawyer colleague Prashan Bhushan have been waging a battle against the senior Ambani in the political ring as well in the Supreme Court.

Though the case against Moily may not stand legal scrutiny as a state government cannot file a case against the Centre, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is directly handing the distribution of poll tickets, is treading cautiously, especially in cases where it involves senior leaders, sources added. 

CEC meeting

The Congress is planning to hold another round of CEC meeting on March 12 and has summoned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara to decide nominees for the 14 remaining constituencies out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
The AICC election committee headed by Sonia Gandhi accommodated all the sitting MPs, except Moily.

Siddaramaiah said he is clueless as to why the party has not included Moily. “The election committee had cleared the names of all nine sitting MPs, including Moily. I do not know why his name was not announced in the first list (released on Saturday). I hope it will happen soon,” he told this paper.

Parameshwara, too, said he was unaware of the reason for the high command's decision. Congress circles were rife with rumours that Moily will be on a shaky wicket in Chikballapur if re-nominated in the coming elections.

Some central leaders suggested that instead of Moily, his son Harsha could be given a chance to contest from his father’s seat of Chikkaballapur. Harsha, incidentally, had failed to participate in the primary in Dakshina Kannada constituency as his application was rejected.

Moily who rushed to national capital on Sunday after hearing that his name was left out in the announced candidates list, is reportedly lobbying hard to convince the high command and get the ticket. He will remain in the capital and attend the next CEC meet, as he is also its member.

“If party gives me the ticket, I would like to contest from Chikkaballapur alone,” he told reporters here. Expressing confidence that his name would figure in second list, he said, “as I nursed the constituency for the past several years, I am confident of winning”.

The Congress is also yet to announce tickets for other controversial aspirants, including former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Commonwealth Games organising committee former head Suresh Kalmadi and Maharashtra ex-chief minister Ashok Chauhan, whose name figured in Adarsh Housing Society scam.

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