Cong chief asks partymen to shun differences

Cong chief asks partymen to shun differences

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday advised the state party leaders to shun differences and work unitedly with the coalition partner, the JD(S), in the November 3 byelections.

Rahul, who was in Bengaluru to interact with HAL employees, met senior party leaders, including Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, at Kumara Krupa guest house.

The state leaders are learnt to have apprised Rahul about the political scene in Karnataka and preparations being made for facing the bypolls to three parliamentary and two assembly seats. He was also informed about the factional feud and efforts being made to iron out the differences.

The state leaders have been struggling to finalise the candidates for Bellary parliamentary by-election due to differences among the local leaders. The party is facing the heat of rebellion in Ramanagara Assembly constituency, as many local party leaders are opposing the decision to support the JD(S).

Sources in the party said Siddaramaiah had suggested to Rahul that disgruntled legislators could be pacified by accommodating them in various boards and corporations of the government. Rahul asked the state leaders to shortlist names for this purpose, sources added.

The state leaders have proposed appointment to boards and corporations following the party high command’s decision to postpone the Cabinet expansion. Over a dozen party legislators are aspiring to become ministers.

Shimoga dilemma

Meanwhile, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy met Rahul and discussed with him the political developments and the prevailing confusion over fielding a candidate in Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency, where the BJP has fielded former MP B Y Raghavendra, son of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

There is still no clarity over which party is going to field the candidate in this segment. As there are no takers for the Congress ticket, JD(S) former MLA Madhu Bangarappa’s name has been doing the rounds, with the JD(S) leadership pushing for his candidature. The JD(S) has said that it is better to field an Ediga leader as the district has a sizeable Ediga population.