2 ex-IAS officers join Congress

Two retired IAS officers Ashok Kumar Manoli and S Puttaswamy joined the Congress party on Monday, as part of the ‘Congressge banni, badalavane tanni’ campaign.

KPCC president G Parameshwara, who inducted the duo into the party during Indira Gandhi birth anniversary celebrations, said many “progressive thinkers” were joining the party. Both Manoli and Puttaswamy have rendered good service, he said, adding that Manoli was instrumental in introducing VAT in the State.

As Ramanagara deputy commissioner, Puttaswamy took concrete steps to put an end to illegal sand mining in the district, said Parameshwara.

Puttaswamy, who hails from Arkalgud in Hassan district, is an aspirant for a ticket from that constituency. He was supposed to have been inducted into the party a few days ago itself, but due to the objections raised by Congress MLA Arkalgud Manju, the leaders had stalled his induction. The MLA had threatened to resign from his Assembly membership if Puttaswamy was inducted. Manju, however, seems to have had a change of heart, as he was present during the function on Monday.

Union Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said that the party high command would declare the chief ministerial candidate only after the elections. He said that there were many aspirants to that post, but it was important to bring the party to power first. He said that the elections would be fought under the joint leadership of Parameshwara and CLP leader Siddaramaiah.

The party also felicitated five women achievers, Shwetha N (volleyball champion), C G Manjula (journalist), R Sunandamma (research scholar), Kusuma N Bhatt (social activist) and Narasamma (mid-wife), to mark Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

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