SS Mallikarjun for Davangere?

S S Mallikajun

Former minister S S Mallikarjun is likely to become the Congress’ candidate to contest the Davangere Lok Sabha seat.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal on Friday held talks with Mallikarjun and other top party leaders. Venugopal is said to have convinced Mallikarjun to contest.

The party had initially announced veteran leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Mallikarjun’s father, as its candidate. However, the 88-year-old refused the ticket citing old age.

At one point, Shamanur apparently told the party that no member of his family will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha poll, especially after Mallikarjun’s name was speculated for the ticket.

In the ensuing confusion, two other names came before the party for consideration - Davangere district party unit chief HB Manjappa and former chief minister JH Patel’s son Tejasvi Patel.

Meanwhile, Mallikarjun told reporters in Davanagere on Friday that he has been summoned to attend a meeting convened by AICC president Rahul Gandhi in Bengaluru on Saturday.

"I will attend the meeting. There is time till April 4 to take a decision," he said.

Replaying a query, Shivashankarappa said that he had returned the B Form and decided against contesting to express anger over denial of berth in the Siddaramaiah cabinet.

He said that he had told the party leadership that the cabinet berth was denied to him on the ground of overage. Now, the party had fielded me. Hence, he didn't want to enter the fray.

"I haven't suggested anybody's name, but will work for the party's official candidate," he said.

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SS Mallikarjun for Davangere?

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