Resentment in Congress, BJP over candidate selection

 A day after announcing their second list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress and the BJP on Friday faced a strong but silent opposition against selection of nominees in many constituencies.

While fielding journalist Pratap Simha from Mysore has led to resentment in the BJP, denial of ticket to senior Congress leader Jaffer Sharief is expected to have a ripple effect on the grand old party in the Bangalore Central.

In the BJP, supporters of former minister C H Vijayashankar are up in arms against denial of ticket to their leader even as many leaders expressed their opposition to selection of Pratap Simha for the seat. Vijayashankar is not ready to accept the Hassan seat offered to him. It is said Simha’s candidature has the backing of the RSS. The BJP is likely to wait for two days and then offer the Hassan ticket to party’s former district president Naville Annappa, a Vokkaliga.

Appachu Ranjan, BJP MLA from Madikeri, said he has never seen Simha or know him in anyway. “This is the first time an outsider has been imposed as the party did not want to field MLAs. No consensus was reached. But I have already begun campaigning at panchayat level. We want the party to win. Beyond that I can’t comment on selection of the candidate,” he said.

Former MLC D S Veeraiah also expressed his resentment over not being given ticket to contest from Kolar. The party has fielded Bethamangala Narayanaswamy from the constituency.

Meanwhile, in the Congress, denial of ticket to Sharief is understood to have angered the Muslim leaders. Despite support from many elected representatives, the anti-Sharief camp led by Union minister Rahman Khan succeeded in getting a ticket for State Youth Congress leader Rizwan Arshad.

It is feared that the unceremonious way in which the party has dumped Sharief would affect the party in several other constituencies of the State. Several Muslim leaders, including C M Ibrahim, Ministers Qamarul Islam and Roshan Baig and majority of the party legislators, had petitioned to the party high command to field the octogenarian leader.

The party insiders said that the JD(S) is taking advantage of the confusion in the Congress. It is already making efforts to take advantage of the division in the Congress Muslim leaders. And Sharief, too, had been cosying with JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda and had even written a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi not to field the party candidate against Gowda in Hassan.

Law Minister T B Jayachandra and senior party legislator K N Rajanna are said to be unhappy with the decision to field Muddahanume Gowda, who joined the Congress after quitting the JD(S), in Tumkur.

In Shimoga, Kumar Bangarappa, son of late chief minister S Bangarappa, was keen on contesting the elections. Moreover, the local leaders are not happy with the decision to field Manjunath Bhandari.

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