To field them or not: Gowda's dilemma over tainted candidates

To field them or not: Gowda's dilemma over tainted candidates

 JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda is indecisive about selection of candidates with criminal backgrounds to contest the BBMP polls.

When contacted by Deccan Herald, Gowda on Saturday said that he was “disturbed” by the fact that his party had given tickets to father-son duo Arif Pasha and Imran Pasha, who have 15 criminal cases booked against them. But, he isn’t sure whether he has to take a “harsh decision” and cancel their candidature, he conceded.

“I am conflicted. The issue is whether I should become so harsh or whether I should fight these two parties (BJP and Congress). This is my big problem. I don’t know how best I can handle this situation (sic)”.

He said that he didn’t want to do injustice to the Muslim aspirants, who were banking on his party for tickets.

“It is not about votes. The party might get one or more per cent from the Muslim community. But the fact is that there are no big Muslim leaders, but there are many Muslim candidates. If I withdraw their candidature, it might lead to bigger problems,” he said, adding that he had a taintless political career.

When asked about Aam Aadmi Party refusing to support his party, Gowda said that he wasn’t sad and that his party would contest all 198 seats.

However, according to party sources, the senior Gowda has given a diktat to party leaders not to finalise candidates with criminal background for the remaining 78 wards.

Of the 120 candidates, the party has given tickets to around 18 Muslim candidates.
Party hoppers

A former corporator each from the Congress and the BJP joined the JD(S) on Saturday. State party president H D Kumaraswamy paid a visit to former BJP corporator of Rajagopalnagar H N Gangadhar’s house and welcomed him into the party.

Gangadhar, upset over BJP not considering his candidature, had quit the party.
Likewise, former Congress corporator Christopher Chakravarthy (Srirampura) joined the JD(S).

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