“You are our leader. We will go door-to-door seeking votes for you. Don’t lose heart. You should not back out,” Congress party workers and leaders told Tumkur MP S P Muddahanumegowda in an emotionally charged meeting here on Saturday.
Hundreds of party workers and well-wishers in unison asked Muddahanumegowda to seek re-election at a meeting held at the MP’s farmhouse at Hebbur on the outskirts of the city.
“Deve Gowda became prime minister because of the Congress support. The Congress extended its support to his son Kumaraswamy to help him become the chief minister. As if this wasn’t enough, they now want Tumkur parliamentary seat. Today Lok Sabha constituencies, tomorrow Assembly seats. If the Congress starts yielding to their demands in the name of coalition dharma, the grand old party will lose its identity,” the miffed Congress workers said.
“The JD(S) supremo is meting out injustice to Muddahanumegowda by denying him the opportunity to seek re-election. At 87, Deve Gowda should quit politics and instead take rest at home, they said.
A section of Congress workers blamed Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara for the mess.
“Such a situation could have been avoided had Parameshwara raised his voice against the decision to cede the seat to the JD(S). He can still salvage the situation by pressuring the Congress high command to retain the seat,” they felt.
Following a solid backing by the Congress cadre in the district, including former Madhugiri MLA K N Rajanna, Muddahanumegowda decided to file his nomination as Congress candidate on Monday.
‘Will pacify miffed MP’
Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah said in Hubballi that the senior leaders would convince Muddahanumegowda against contesting from Tumkur seat. Siddaramaiah, who was here to attend the funeral of minister C S Shivalli, told reporters, “MPs will feel bad if they are denied the opportunity to seek re-election and Muddahanumegowda is no different. The seat has been ceded to the JD(S) and we have to honour the coalition dharma.
“Senior party leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister
G Parameshwara, will convince Muddahanumagowda. So far, he has not filed his nomination. By March 29, we will convince him,” Siddaramaiah, also the chairman of Coalition Coordination Committee,
KPCC prez’s statement
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “During such situation, it is but obvious that workers and the leaders rebel against the party. But, we will ensure that the party discipline is maintained.”