‘Vested interests in Cong neglecting Poojary followers’

Former MLA Vijay Kumar Shetty speaks to reporters in Mangaluru on Friday.

Former MLA Vijay Kumar Shetty and Congress leader Kallige Taranath Shetty alleged that vested interests in the Congress have neglected the followers of veteran Congress leader B Janardhana Poojary while considering tickets for aspirants for election to the council of Mangaluru City Corporation.

Speaking to reporters, Kallige Taranath Shetty said three former mayors—Gulzar Banu, Mahabala Marla and Purandar Das Kuloor were denied tickets to contest. While Purandar Das Kuloor had never lost the election from ward 17 - Derebail North. After a change in reservation, it was Shashidhar Hegde who had been contesting from the ward for two terms. Now, once again the ward is reserved for SC category. Accordingly, Kuloor had sought ticket.

“DCC President Harish Kumar had called me at 10.30 am on October 31 on issuing B form to Kuloor. Unfortunately, within 10 minutes of reaching the Congress office, B -form was issued to Mallikarjuna. It was an insult to Kuloor. We would not have been hurt if the DCC had failed to issue tickets to all three former mayors. But a promise to issue ticket and later denying it has hurt us.”

“Earlier, the aspirants seeking tickets submitted applications to the DCC and a copy to the Block Congress Committee, who in turn after holding a meeting with the ward committees recommend the names to the DCC. Unfortunately, here the decision was taken at the DCC-level at the behest of former MLAs. There was no say for the Block Congress Committee in deciding the candidate,” he said.

“I have already pointed out everything is not fine in DCC to KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao,” he said and added that former mayor Gulzar Banu wanted to file nomination on Thursday.

As her son was arrested for allegedly assaulting a former MLA in a scuffle which broke out among two factions of the Congress, she could not file nominations, he said.

Vijay Kumar Shetty said that denying ticket to Gulzar Banu who had served as Mangaluru mayor was wrong.

“We want Congress to retain the power in the council of MCC and will strive to work for the candidates. All the grievances of the disgruntled party workers should be addressed. Even veteran leader Janardhana Poojary should have been consulted while preparing the list of candidates,” he said.

INTUC state general secretary Shashiraj Ambat said, “INTUC had sought its representation to contest from two wards. Our demands have not been considered.”

Purandar Das Kuloor said that he will decide on his political move within two days. 

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