My bonded labour for Cong is over, says Jaffer Sharief

 After being denied ticket to contest from Bangalore Central, senior Congress leader Jaffer Sharief declared he is happy because he is free from the ‘bonded labour’ to the party.

The 83-year-old Sharief, who has served the party in many capacities and was railway minister, dropped hints he may join the JD(S) to give a push to formation of a third front to fight communal forces.

He is expected to take a final call after his return from a trip to Mecca. 

When Deccan Herald sought his reaction over high command’s decision to set aside his request and field Youth Congress wing chief Rizwan Arshad, he said, “The party had become a liability to some of us. God has been extremely kind to set us free and think about the fu ture of the country. When I go to Mecca, I will seek the blessings and guidance of God to take future decisions.”

Asked whether he has the energy to contest polls, the octogenarian shot back saying he has energy to contest from anywhere. On whether he would be severing his long-standing ties with Congress, he said it seems time has come to bid goodbye.

Asked whether Congress would accommodate him as governor, he said, “Why should I bother about that party? What is left in the Congress now?”. To a query whether his letter to Sonia Gandhi not to field a candidate against JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda in Hassan made him lose the ticket, Sharief said he made the statement in good faith.
Gowda was prime minister and has been a fighter. “At this old age, he should not face a rival. If that is not being appreciated, then what can I do? Battles have to be fought.”
On whether Sharief will be given a ticket, party leader H D Kumarswamy said: H D Deve Gowda and Jaffer Sharief have a long-standing political relationship. Like Gowda, this will likely be Sharief’s last elections. We have left the decision to Sharief, if he wants to join JD(S) and fight elections.”

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