Cong misses 'troubleshooter' Oscar as leaders fight over tickets

Cong misses 'troubleshooter' Oscar as leaders fight over tickets

The Congress on Friday sorely missed the services of its senior leader Oscar Fernandes, who used to play the role of a troubleshooter in resolving vexatious issues such as ticket distribution for the Karnataka Assembly elections.

Fernandes, who is a member of the Central Election Committee of the party, has been unwell and hospitalised for the past few days, which has forced him away from the deliberations.

The Congress is struggling to finalise its list of candidates for the May 12 Assembly elections with strong differences having emerged among the state leaders over the nominees.

A senior Congress leader recalled the key role played by Fernandes, who is known to enjoy a good rapport with leaders across the hierarchy in the Congress. Being a close confidant of former Congress President Sonia Gandhi also helped him have his way with party leaders.

Fernandes was the cog in the wheel in thrashing out an alliance with the JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda and installing Congress leader Dharam Singh as the Chief Minister in 2004, when the elections threw up a hung Assembly.

The mild-mannered veteran leader played a crucial role in quelling rebellion in the Congress ranks by speaking to the warring factions and thrashing out the differences before matters reached the high command.

The 77-year-old leader was also closely involved in installing Siddaramaiah as chief minister in 2013 when the party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge had thrown his hat in the ring for the top post.

 

 

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