Congress activists in Hassan district are unhappy with the first list of candidates for the Assembly polls. Party leaders from Alur and Sakleshpur taluks held a press conference recently, demanding that Motamma, MLC, be given ticket from the Sakleshpur constituency. Block presidents Ranganath and Vidya Shankar made it clear that they would not participate in campaigning if their demand was not met. However, the party announced D. Mallesh as the candidate.
Another section is upset with the decision to field H.K. Mahesh, who is contesting for the first time, from the Hassan constituency.
Retired government official S. Puttaswamy, who was an aspirant for a Congress ticket from Arkalgud, is said to have decided to knock on the door of the Karnataka Janata Paksha. A. Manju, MLA, is the Congress candidate from Arkalgud. If Mr. Puttaswamy, who has been nurturing the constituency for the past few months, contests on a KJP ticket, the Congress might lose some of their traditional votes, a senior Congress leader said.
Hassan district Congress committee president B. Shivaram is contesting from Arsikere. Anupama, daughter-in-law of the late G. Puttaswamy Gowda, former Minister, is contesting from Holenarsipur. Y.N. Rudresh Gowda, MLA, is contesting from Belur again. There have been at least two or three ticket aspirants each in all these constituencies.
The Congress has finalised candidates in six of the seven constituencies in the district. Considering the opposition from local workers against fielding C.S. Putte Gowda, who recently joined the party from the JD(S), the high command is said to have put on hold the candidate for the Shravanabelgola constituency. The party has fielded Vokkaliga candidates, except in Alur-Sakleshpur — reserved segment for Scheduled Castes.