MLC polls: Dissent brews in Congress

The dissent over ticket distribution for the forthcoming Legislative Council election within the Congress party is slowly emerging out with one-time party loyalist and staunch Congressman Bhujanga Shetty hopping into fray as an independent candidate.

Informally, it is evident that incumbent Prathapchandra Shetty will be fielded as the Congress candidate from Dakshina Kannada-Udupi local bodies’ constituency. Till recently, the discontentment among ticket aspirants in the party was a hide-and-seek game. As the date of filing nomination papers is fast approaching, the differences among the party members has erupted in the form of rebellion.

The BJP has announced incumbent MLC Kota Srinivas Poojari as its candidate. The grassroots level workers within Congress are dissatisfied over the favouritism of the party high command extended towards the sitting member and hence, they have decided that they would support other candidates who are willing to opt out of the party constraints.
Speaking to media persons, former Udupi Zilla Panchayat president B Bhujanga Shetty said he would file his nomination papers as an independent candidate on December 7. He added that he would opt out if the party comes forward to give ticket to anyone else other than Prathapchandra Shetty.
 
The party has not contacted  any aspirants. The district Congress has sent a list of 10 aspirants to the KPCC and the party is keen on giving ticket to Prathapachandra Shetty, who is not in the list, which is a huge irony.

He (Prathapchandra Shetty) had already declared that he would not contest the election henceforth, Bhujanga Shetty said and added that the senior party leaders do not want second-level political set-up in the district to grow. Their adamant approach has led to the decline of the party’s image, he criticised, adding that if the party wants to sack him, he would accept party’s decision.

Bhujanga Shetty said another aspirant and former MP Jayaprakash Hedge would also announce his decision shortly.

There are two seats from Dakshina Kannada-Udupi constituency. Election becomes necessary only if more than two contestants are in the fray. The election, if necessary, would be held on December 27. In all, there 6,559 voters, including members of gram panchayats, taluk panchayats, Zilla Panchayats and urban local bodies (City Corporations, City Municipal Councils and Town Panchayats).

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