Cong fears JD(S) tit-for-tat in Mysore seat

Siddaramaiah

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah could be staring at a logjam after his late Tuesday night attempt to pacify disgruntled party leaders from Mandya failed.

Siddaramaiah is said to have expressed worry that the disgruntlement in Mandya could adversely impact the party’s prospects in the Mysore Lok Sabha seat, which he is determined to wrest from the BJP in order to re-establish himself in the region following his embarrassing defeat in the Chamundeshwari Assembly segment last year. His aide C H Vijayashankar is up against BJP’s Pratap Simha in Mysore.

Siddaramaiah held talks with the party’s Mandya leaders N Cheluvarayaswamy, A B Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, P M Narendraswamy, P Ravikumar and Madhu Madegowda.

None of them has shown enthusiasm in supporting Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil, who is up against BJP-supported independent Sumalatha in what has been billed as one of the hottest poll battles in Karnataka. Sumalatha is the widow of actor-turned-politician Ambareesh, who commanded a huge following in Mandya.

Siddaramaiah is learnt to have told the Mandya leaders that until they fell in line, the JD(S) cadre will not come out to campaign for Vijayashankar in Mysuru, where the regional party is said to hold some sway.

The meeting ended well beyond midnight, with the Mandya leaders maintaining that they were reluctant to campaign for Nikhil. Apparently, they complained that the JD(S) leadership in Mandya had not taken them into confidence. Plus, the two parties have been bitter rivals in the district.

JD(S) ministers Sa Ra Mahesh and G T Devegowda, who belong to Mysuru district, have been engaged in campaigning for Nikhil in Mandya.

Deve Gowda has publicly said he was not keen on campaigning in Mysore.

“We are confident the problem will be resolved,” KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, who attended the late night meeting, told reporters on Wednesday.

Siddaramaiah and JD(S) supremo H D Gowda will hold joint campaign rallies in Mysore, Mandya, Tumkur and other seats. “I am hopeful all will be well,” Rao said, adding that he would also reach out to Kumaraswamy. “We will find a via-media solution as some of our Mandya leaders were with the JD(S) before,” Rao said. “Congress president Rahul Gandhi has clearly instructed party workers to help JD(S) candidates win.”

Women’s panel summons Surya

The Karnataka State Women’s Commission has summoned BJP’s Bangalore South candidate Tejasvi Surya for questioning on April 8, following a complaint by the Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee.

The Commission had earlier issued a notice to Surya to appear before it on April 3. Surya has obtained a temporary injunction from a Bengaluru court, which has prohibited media agencies from publishing “defamatory and derogatory” articles against him.

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Cong fears JD(S) tit-for-tat in Mysore seat

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