Pressure on Siddaramaiah to contest to LS from Koppal

Last Updated 31 December 2018, 10:51 IST

Even as Siddaramaiah is eyeing another term as chief minister, a section of Congress leaders on Saturday mounted pressure on the former chief minister to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Koppal constituency.

This came up during a meeting chaired by AICC general secretary incharge of Karnataka K C Venugopal to assess the party’s preparedness for the Lok Sabha elections.

The Koppal seat is currently held by BJP’s Karadi Sanganna. Siddaramaiah’s name cropped up even as there are six other aspirants seeking the Koppal ticket. Siddaramaiah is said to have brushed the demand aside, stating he had no such plans.

A section of Congress leaders believes Siddaramaiah is “Lok Sabha material”. He had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls in 1991 from the Koppal constituency, dominated by the Kuruba community that he belongs to.

When Bidar came up for discussion, the party leadership was urged to give the ticket to a family member of former chief minister, the late Dharam Singh, whose sons Ajay and Vijay Singh were present at the meeting. It was also felt that a Lingayat should be fielded, given the community’s dominance there. Former Bidar South MLA Ashok Kheny has sought the ticket as well.

The party also discussed the Bellary, Raichur, Gulbarga, Bangalore South and Bangalore Rural seats. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara skipped the most part, making a late, brief appearance.

Belgaum fight hots up

It is said that a war of words broke out between Municipalities Minister Ramesh Jarakiholi and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, who spoke in favour of Belgaum Rural MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar with whom the Jarakiholi family has a feud. Venugopal was forced to convene a separate meeting of Jarakiholi and Hebbalkar.

Jarakiholi is also said to have locked horns with former Belgaum North MLA Feroz Sait on who should get the ticket for the Belgaum Lok Sabha seat. While Jarakiholi sought the ticket either for himself, his brother Satish Jarakiholi or Vivekrao Patil, Sait argued that a Muslim should be fielded.

(Published 01 September 2018, 17:52 IST)

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