Flustered Cong warns dissidents of stern action

KC Venugopal

With dissident activities continuing unabated, the ruling Congress issued a stern warning on Wednesday to those raising a banner of revolt against the party for denying them the ticket to contest the elections.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal has directed state Congress president G Parameshwara to take disciplinary action against those indulging in anti-party activities.

The Congress is grappling with dissent in several Assembly constituencies ever since the announcement of candidates’ list on Sunday. Disgruntled leaders in about 38 constituencies, including Mandya, Karkala, Tarikere, Chikkaballapur, Tiptur and Siraguppa, have threatened to contest as rebels.

Speaking to reporters, Parameshwara said he is holding talks with upset leaders and trying to pacify them. “There is no problem in the party. We will pacify dissidents. The party will not let them down. The party is going to come back to power and it will give suitable positions to these leaders (dissidents),” he added. 

Furthermore, the Congress has put on hold the ticket announcement to three constituencies — Madikeri, Badami and Jagaluru — following strong dissident activities in those segments. 

Senior leaders hedge

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning and Statistics and Congress leader M R Seetharam said he was in two minds whether to contest the May 12 elections from Malleshwaram Assembly constituency.

“I last contested the election in 2008. There is 10 years of gap. I feel that there is some disconnect with the constituency. I will announce my decision in a day or two after consulting my supporters,” he said.

Actor and former minister Ambareesh is also said to be in doubt over contesting the polls. Though the party has given him the ticket to contest from Mandya again, he has neither collected the B form from the party nor has he held a meeting with his supporters in the constituency.

A group of his followers from Mandya met Ambareesh and urged him to contest the polls. They requested him to immediately visit the constituency and start the campaign. The 'rebel star' had earlier said it would be difficult to contest elections again due to his ill health.

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