Coalition dharma vs SPM leaves Congress in a fix

Last Updated 24 March 2019, 18:56 IST

With Congress MP from Tumkur S P Muddahanumegowda in no mood to back out, the Congress leadership in the state is faced with an unpleasant situation of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.

JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, who had relinquished Hassan parliamentary seat to his grandson, has announced that he would contest from Tumkur constituency, which has a good Vokkaliga base. Gowda will file his nomination as coalition candidate on Monday.

Gowda’s decision has left the Congress top brass with the onerous task of honouring coalition dharma and placating the miffed Muddahanumegowda. Efforts to convince the sitting MP not to seek re-election have not yielded any desired results so far.

Several DCC office-bearers and party workers expressed their anguish over denying Muddahanumegowda the ticket at the meeting convened by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Sunday.

Parameshwara, however, tried in vain to pacify the miffed Congress workers saying, “Muddahanumegowda has done a good job as MP. But we no options but to honour the coalition dharma and the decision of the party high command. I will try to convince Muddahanumegowda and K N Rajanna,” he said. A few leaders walked out of the meeting midway.

He urged the party leaders and the workers to take part in the procession ahead of the nomination filing of Deve Gowda on Monday.

SPM sticks to his guns

Meanwhile, Muddahanumegowda, backed by former Madhugiri MLA K N Rajanna, the DCC office-bearers and party workers, on Sunday reiterated that he would file his nomination as the Congress-backed candidate on Monday.

Muddahanumegowda on Sunday toured the constituency extensively eliciting the opinion of the Congress cadre. “I have strived for development of the constituency. Even the Congress top brass has commended my work. The party has issued tickets to nine other sitting MPs in the state, but they denied me the opportunity to seek re-election. I am deeply hurt, he said at party workers meeting in Madhugiri.

Youth Congress state vice president R Rajendra said, “The coalition government has neglected the interests of the Congress workers. Madhugiri MLA (Veerabhadraiah-JD-S) too has ignored the Congress workers. We will not support the coalition candidate in Tumkur seat.”

Tumkur constituency was one among the eight seats ceded by the Congress to the JD(S) as part of the seat-sharing arrangements between the coalition partners.

(Published 24 March 2019, 17:44 IST)

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