Rift in Cong spills onto the streets

Rift in Cong spills onto the streets

Rift in Cong spills onto the streets

The Congress’ troubles in Mandya seem to be far from over. The cracks in the party ranks have come out in the open in the district, so much so that candidate Ramya had to cut her roadshow midway at Belur and Soonaganahalli in the taluk on Saturday.

A war of words erupted between local leaders of the party over petty issues like photos not being included in posters and on sharing space in the campaign vehicles, even as their supporters held each other by the scruff of their neck.

The party’s cadre is split between the supporters of Ravindra Srikantaiah, the aide of former external affairs minister S M Krishna and S L Lingaraju, the associate of Housing Minister Ambarish. Efforts by Ramya, district unit president M S Atmananda and working president P M Somashekar to pacify the two factions proved futile. 

Ramya retreats

Ramya had to alight from the campaign vehicle and head to Srirangapatna in a car when she could not take it any more as the fighting escalated in Soonaganahalli.

 Srinivas, one of the party workers, injured his leg in the melee.  Later, Ramya told reporters that the open war between the factions had caused her immense pain. 

She said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other State leaders of the party had called upon the workers to sink their differences and work for her victory in Mandya. Yet, there seems to be no end to the differences in the party. 

The actor disputed claims that she had not visited Srirangapatna after her victory in the byelection to the Mandya Lok Sabha seat last year. Ramya said that she had spoken to Ambarish two days ago. The minister is currently recovering from lung infection. 

The Congress candidate said Ambarish had promised to visit Mandya for campaigning for the Congress on April 14 and that he would address a public meeting at the Silver Jubilee Park in Mandya.