Congress chooses Rajiv Gowda over S M Krishna for RS polls

Congress chooses Rajiv Gowda over S M Krishna for RS polls

With the Congress plumping for him over former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, party spokesman Rajiv Gowda today filed his nomination papers for the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka.

Suspense had prevailed till today over re-nomination of Krishna, whose name was not cleared by Congress high command to file nominations. Krishna, a former Chief Minister, is set to retire from the Rajya Sabha on June 25.

AICC General Secretary B K Hariprasad, who was re-nominated as party candidate, also filed his papers hours before the deadline ended at 3 pm.

The age factor might have gone against Krishna (83) and tilted the scales in favour of Gowda (43), a professor at the Indian Institute of Management here, party sources said. Both belong to the influential Vokkaliga community.

Gowda was also an aspirant for the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha seat in the recent polls but failed to get party ticket which was given to Narayanaswamy who lost to BJP's P C Mohan.

The ruling Congress in the state with 121 Assembly members can easily win two seats and is eyeing another with the support of non-BJP parties in the elections being held to fill four seats.

Speaking to reporters after filing nomination, Gowda said the Congress high command could have given a chance to a youngster like him "to work for next 20 years to rebuild the party and take on Narendra Modi government and bring back Congress back to power".

Gowda said there is no confusion in the party over the issue of Krishna not receiving the Congress high command nod to file nomination. "Krishna is the tallest leader and is a role model for people like me. There was no race between me and Krishna."

On denial of re-nomination of Krishna, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President G Parameshwara, said, "I do not know the reason behind of Congress high command leaving out Krishna's name from contesting polls. But the decision has hurt me. Krishna still has the capacity to work."

"In Congress however, we have to go with the decisions made by the high command and that is what all the leaders have to do," Parameshwara said. 

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