Kharge, Muniyappa sulk

 Discontent over denial of Congress ticket to fight the elections to Karnataka Assembly came to the fore on Sunday as some women leaders held a demonstration in the capital while Union ministers Mallikarjun Kharge and K H Muniyappa sulked as tickets to their children were withheld.

Intense lobbying and some decisions taken by the Congress leadership resulted in the party’s failure to complete the list of 224 candidates on Sunday despite nearly a week of meetings by the panels appointed to approve the nominations.

Women leaders, who held demonstration in front of the residence of party president Sonia Gandhi and AICC office protesting against sidelining of the loyal workers in ticket distribution, demanded that more women be given nomination.

The distribution of ticket left several sections of the party heartbroken. According to sources, the central election committee, led by Sonia, withheld tickets to Priyank Kharge, son of Union labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge in Chittapur in Gulbarga district and Roopakala, daughter of Union minister of state for small scale industries K H Muniyappa in KGF in Kolar district. Ajay Singh, son of former chief minister and MP Dharam Singh has been fielded from Jewargi.

According to sources, the senior Congress leaders fielded a reluctant Priyank Kharge, though he was unwilling, in a byelection in 2009 that he lost by just 900 votes. “This time, though he was the only candidate recommended right from the block level, his name has been withheld,” they added.

Sources said the Election Committee has failed to stick to the parameters fixed in selecting a candidate – that those who lost three successive times and those who lost by more than 20,000 votes in the last elections will not be re-nominated.

In Padmanabhanagar (Bangalore), Gurappa Naidu, who lost the last polls by 39,784 votes is said to have been given ticket again. Krishna Singh, who flost deposit in Malur, has been renominated.

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