Entered fray as wished by party workers: Prathapchandra

Entered fray as wished by party workers: Prathapchandra

Congress candidate for the Council polls Prathapchandra Shetty said on Monday that he had filed his nomination papers after holding a meeting with party leaders and workers.

Reporters asked him about writing letters to party workers expressing a desire not to contest the elections, and he clarified, “I have been writing letters to party workers for the past 12 years wishing them on different occasions. I had said that if the party wishes to field other candidates, I have no objection to it. But the party workers demanded that I contest, and I have responded to them.”

Responding to an allegation that he was not active in the party, Shetty insisted, “I have visited various gram panchayats and attended the meetings. I have been an active member of the Congress. I do not understand why there is dissent in the party.”
Minister for Urban Development Vinay Kumar Sorake, Forest minister B Ramanath Rai, Minister for Youth Empowerment and Sports Abhayachandra Jain and others accompanied the Congress candidate when he filed the nomination.

A total of 11 nominations by six candidates, including those of Congress rebellion candidates, were filed for the elections to the Legislative Council from Dakshina Kannada local bodies constituency on Monday.

BJP candidate Srinivas Poojary (3), Congress candidate Prathapchandra Shetty (3), A M Ismail (Independent), Praveenchandra (JDS), Jayaprakash Hegde (2, Independent) and Bhujanga Shetty (Independent) have filed their papers.

With dissent brewing within the Congress, rebels have decided to enter the fray as an independent candidates.

Speaking to mediapersons, former MP and independent candidate Jayaprakash Hegde said that the Congress had decided to give the ticket to sitting MLC Pratapchandra Shetty. The party has gone ahead, in spite of Shetty writing to the Gram Panchayat members stating that he would not contest the forthcoming elections, he added. “Why did the party give the ticket to Shetty, when he had not applied for it? I am not saying that the party should give me the ticket, but, it could have given it to any other aspirant who is active in the party. The Congress High Command should issue tickets to those who have worked for the party. The leaders, who have contacts with the people, should be fielded in the elections. The senior party leaders had not even discussed the matter of giving ticket to Shetty with the party aspirants,” he said.

“There are instances of changing the candidate after issuing B-forms from the party for contesting the elections. I will withdraw my nomination if the party issues ticket to any other active member of the Congress. I have not violated the party discipline. I am responding to the feelings of the party workers. The allegations that I am conspiring to get a position is far from truth. I do not aspire for any position,” Hegde said, in response to a query.

He added that he was not rebelling against the party or its ideology, but was contesting the elections only for the sake of the party workers.

Hegde’s daughter Divya Hegde, who was also present on the occasion, said, “We are not engaging in anti-party activities. We are with the Congress. Shetty has not been active in the party and had even decided initially not to contest.”

She added that Hegde would contact all the elected representatives over phone and would meet them personally seeking their votes.

Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake said that the dissent in the Congress would be quelled by organising discussions in the party fora.

BJP confident of victory

BJP candidate Srinivas Poojary expressed confidence of winning the election with full majority. “The BJP will win more than the expected seats in the Legislative Council,” he added.

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