Congress ponders ticket reallocation to quell dissidence

Siddarmaiah

Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, got into a huddle late on Thursday evening to discuss ways to quash dissidence over the allocation of tickets.

Siddaramaiah, AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal, KPCC chief G Parameshwara and campaign committee chief D K Shivakumar discussed reallocation of tickets by fielding some sitting legislators who had been denied tickets, sources said.

It is learnt that the party is considering giving the Jagalur ticket to sitting legislator H P Rajesh in place of A L Pushpa who was announced as the candidate. Rajesh’s supporters had staged massive protests in Davangere and the party was forced to put the ticket on hold following pressure from Davangere district in-charge minister S S Mallikarjun.

An upset Pushpa hit out at the party leadership. “I’m a candidate who can win. It’s wrong to deny me an opportunity in the last minute. I will decide my next move after discussing with my supporters,” she said.

The top leaders also discussed giving the Tiptur ticket to sitting MLA K Shadakshari. The party had announced B Nanjamari as the Tiptur candidate, leading to protests. They also debated whether to give the Padmanabhanagar ticket to former legislator M Srinivas in place of B Gurappa Naidu as decided earlier.

A new candidate may be fielded in Malleshwaram after Planning Minister M R Seetharam refused the ticket. The Raichur ticket is likely to go to veteran leader C K Jaffer Sharief’s son-in-law Syed Yasin, whose last outing from here had been unsuccessful.

In a bid to placate five-time Kittur legislator D B Inamdar, the party is exploring the option of fielding his son-in-law Babasab Patil. Sources also said the Shantinagar ticket had been “almost finalised” for sitting legislator N A Haris.

However, senior leader Anjanamurthy announced his decision to contest as an Independent candidate from Nelamangala, a constituency he said he was nursing.

“I am an honest worker. I am confident of winning by a margin of 10,000 votes. I’ve spent lakhs of rupees and I participated in the Mane Manege Congress campaign. All this because I was promised the ticket,” he told reporters.

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