We would not have been unhappy had he been defeated: B.K. Chandrashekar

The former Legislative Council Chairman B.K. Chandrashekar, poet and former MLC L. Hanumanthaiah and Dalit Sangharsh Samiti president Mavalli Shankar on Thursday said the Congress had made a mistake by fielding a fourth candidate — M.R. Seetharam — in the Legislative Council elections from the Legislative Assembly, knowing fully well that he had only 14 votes as against the 19 required to win.

Speaking to mediapersons, the leaders made it clear that it was their personal view and not that of the party. Fielding the fourth candidate was a direct encouragement to lure MLAs to cast their votes ‘for a consideration', they said, adding that they would not have been unhappy had he been defeated. What was alarming was that the official candidate, Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi, a former MP and minority leader, who did not have money to pay for votes, was defeated.

They also said that not a single leader in the party had thought of the kind of candidate who should be fielded, and that had led to the loss of face. Recalling the statement of the Bharatiya Janata Party State president K.S. Eshwarappa who had said: “BJP has got a bad name because of admission of people on payment”, the leaders said that there was no need to explain the phenomenon.

Even caste had played a role while party ticket was given, they added.

They were also critical of the caste conventions held across the State by Kurubas, Lingayats and Vokkaligas. Instead of doing away with caste politics, efforts are being made to achieve equality based on caste.

They regretted that no caste convention had discussed issues related to education, health and jobs, but they were organised on political lines.

Meanwhile, Tipu Sultan United Front president Sardar Ahmed Khureshi, Dalit Minority Sainya secretary M. Aslam Khan, FKMK president Qutbuddin Nayakvadi, Minority Vikas Manch president Shariyar Khan and Deccan India Federation's Syed Zakriya Agha alleged that the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah were also involved in defeating Mr. Saradagi.

They lauded JD (S) for getting Syed Mudir Aga elected to the Council.

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