Minutes after the list of candidates was announced for the upcoming assembly elections by the Congress, massive infighting has broken out within the ranks of the Karnataka Congress. Several disgruntled leaders threatened to resign from the primary membership of the party and lashed out at the leadership including current Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
According to Times Now Report, Rebellion, in fact, began brewing in the party ranks even as the list was made public, with several aspirants hitting the road in open defiance of the leadership across the state. Voices of dissent were heard from Hangal, Mayakonda, Jagalur, Tiptur, Kunigal, Kolar, Kollegal, Belur, Badami, Kittur and many other constituencies. In Chikkamangaluru, Congress members even tore apart the Congress office.
According to the reports, Supporters of former excise minister Manohar Tahsildhar, who currently represents Hangal, staged a protest over denial of the party ticket to their leader. Late Sunday night, Incumbent Jagalur MLA H P Rajesh rushed to Bengaluru to meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, after his name failed to figure on the list. Supporters of five times MLA D B Inamdar were also up in arms with the party holding the candidate’s name for Kittur; the high command is reportedly toying with the idea of fielding his relative, Babasaheb Patil.
On Saturday, P Ramesh, a senior congress leader who had unsuccessfully contested from C V Raman Nagar in Bengaluru in the 2013 election has announced his decision to contest from the same seat as a JD(S) candidate. He alleged that “This is not Indira Gandhi’s Congress. This is Siddaramaiah’s Tughlaq Congress,”
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah had asked him to give up his candidature to make way for mayor R Sampath Raj. The party sources said that “Ironically, the fresh rebellion in the party is a manifestation of rivalry between senior party leaders, including Mallikarjuna M Kharge and D K Shivakumar who missed no opportunity to settle scores with one another.”
Reportedly, some aspirants who missed the bus also called Siddaramaiah a dictator while expressing anger over the ticket to Bidar South MLA Ashok Kheny and rebel JD(S) MLAs who they dubbed “outsiders”.
This all is because once again Congress is imposing its dirty dynasty politics on the party instead of giving tickets to the eligible candidates. The Congress has proved that it will always field candidates according to their choice, from whom it can be benefitted, not by providing fair and equal opportunity to all. Some of the ‘dynasts’ who have been named as candidates are Siddaramaiah’s son Dr Yathindra, home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy, law minister TB Jayachandra’s son Santosh, and senior central Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank, who is already a minister in the Karnataka government.
This was expected from Congress as Congress always follow this age old strategy of dynasty politics. It is not the first time Congress has been presenting the show. Same was done during Congress presidential nominations when no candidate was even nominated to provide opportunity because it was already decided that dynasty prince had to occupy the throne.
Miffed with the party leadership, many workers have decided to contest as independent candidates. The Congress leadership is expected to send senior leaders to these districts on a troubleshooting mission. The party has time until April 27 to convince the rebels not to upset the official candidates’ applecart.
Today Congress has announced 218 seats in one shot and around 11-12 sitting MLAs tickets have been cut and many new faces have been introduced. The Elections for the 224-seat Karnataka Assembly will be held on May 12. Counting day is scheduled for May 15. Let’s see what luck these new faces favouring dynasty bring to party.