Dissidents calm down as parties do fire-fighting

Dissidents calm down as parties do fire-fighting

Gurupadappa seems resigned to son’s ticket fate; Sharief may not quit Cong

Come elections, dissident activities touch their peak. But they subside once the filing of nomination papers is concluded. This time too there are talks of rebellion in the Congress and BJP. 

But going by the clout of the leaders who are questioning the authority of their respective parties when it comes to distribution of tickets, it looks like dissidents may soften their stand in the days to come.

BJP legislator Gurupadappa Nagmarapalli, on Saturday, had spoken at length against Yeddyurappa and the party for not fielding his son Suryakanth as the party’s nominee for Bidar. His son had threatened that he may enter the fray as a rebel candidate. His followers had vandalised the party office. 

But, on Sunday, Gurupadappa told Deccan Herald that his son would not be contesting as a rebel as dissidents hardly do well in Lok Sabha elections. 

He said, “Some talks are going on in Delhi. I will know the outcome on Monday. Whatever is the outcome, my son still has a long career. So, he will not rebel against the party. Even I am not going to sever ties with the BJP.”

Asked what he would do in case the BJP refuses to change the candidate, the MLA said, “What can we do? My son has to wait for his turn. Contesting as a rebel is meaningless, especially in parliamentary elections. I am not going to contest Lok Sabha elections, even if the party wants.”  

Senior Congress leader C K Jaffer Sharief, who is on a pilgrimage to Mecca, is yet to announce his decision on his future course of action. He had met JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda twice or thrice, after he was denied ticket to contest from Bangalore Central.

He found fault with the Congress. But he has not yet announced whether he would quit the party or contest as a JD(S) nominee. The JD(S) is ready to field him from Mysore. 

Sources close to him said that leaders of his community had suggested that he remain in the Congress. There are unconfirmed reports that Sonia Gandhi has spoken to him and mollified him, offering him some position. 

They said that he would campaign for the Congress. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah reiterated on Sunday that Sharief would remain in the party. He is expected to return to Bangalore on March 25 or 26. 

Another leader who is protesting for not being a candidate is former minister Kumar Bangarappa. 

The Congress has preferred Manjunath Bhandary over Kumar. He is also upset that his sister Geetha is contesting as the JD(S) candidate. He left for Delhi to meet some leaders. On Saturday, he had declared that he would contest as an Independent if the party fails to reverse its decision. But the party is unlikely to appease him by changing the candidate, who has already filed the nomination papers. 

There was some opposition to the AAP candidate in Mangalore. The decision to field M R Vasudev, a retired airport director, did not go well with Robert Rosario and others.

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