Congress women eye tickets to six Lok Sabha seats

Laxmi Hebbalkar

Pressure is slowly mounting on the Congress to consider more women to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. This, it is argued, is in line with Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s push to promote women within the party.

The Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress, the party’s women’s wing, has asked for a minimum three seats for women this time. But women leaders in the Congress, along with their supporters, have eyed at least six Lok Sabha seats, it is learnt.

Karnataka has
28 Lok Sabha seats.

According to sources, the supporters of Belgaum Rural legislator Laxmi Hebbalkar are mounting pressure on the party to give her the ticket to contest the Belgaum Lok Sabha seat, which is currently held by BJP’s Suresh Angadi.

In fact, they have started a campaign: “Angadi hatao, Hebbalkar lao” (remove Angadi, bring Hebbalkar). She lost the 2014 polls against Angadi by 75,860 votes. But supporters argue that Hebbalkar, a Lingayat, is poised to snatch a victory if fielded this
time.

Internally, it is understood that the party has discussed former Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva’s name for the Uttara Kannada seat. AICC member Kanta Naik has sought a ticket to contest from Bijapur. There is talk of fielding Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Eshwar Khandre’s wife Gita from Bidar. Similarly, former Hungund MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar’s wife Veena, who is the Bagalkot Zilla Panchayat president, has figured in the discussion for the Bagalkot
ticket.  

For Bangalore Central, there is a possibility of fielding KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao’s wife Tabassum (Tabu). However, MLC Rizwan Arshad has laid already laid claim for this ticket.

“Personally, I want women to get at least three tickets this time,” Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress president Pushpa Amarnath said. “We will press for every demand that comes from women seeking tickets.”

That Rahul Gandhi wants more women in Congress’ electoral politics was made clear earlier this year when he publicly said he was unhappy with the party for fielding only 15 women in the May Assembly polls.

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Congress women eye tickets to six Lok Sabha seats

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