CM asks him not to take any hasty step

Even as veteran Congress leader C.K. Jaffer Sharief, who was denied ticket to contest from Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency, on Monday consulted religious heads on his future course of action, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rushed to Mr. Sharief’s house in the evening to pacify him.

‘Worried’

Sources said the party, which had taken note of Mr. Sharief’s resentment over not getting ticket, was worried about the impact it could have during the Lok Sabha elections.

The Chief Minister, who spent nearly an hour with Mr. Sharief, later told presspersons that he would discuss the matter with the party high command and resolve it. “I have appealed to him not to take any hasty decision,” he said.

An upset Mr. Sharief recently stated that it was time for him to say goodbye to the Congress. He even met Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda two days ago.

‘Will take a call’

On Monday, Mr. Sharief reiterated that he would take a call on his future course of action after he returned from Makkah. He is likely to leave on a pilgrimage on March 19 and return on March 23.

Sources close to Mr. Sharief told The Hindu that while some participants in the meeting advised him not to quit the Congress, others agreed that the party had treated him shabbily.

“The participants were unanimous in stating that the Congress should keep in mind that the community was not just a vote bank,” the sources said.

Khadeer Ahmed, who is the founder of Al-Jamiat Noorul Marwal and the convener of the Central Moon Sighting Committee, said: “He can even contest as an Independent from any constituency. It is not advisable for him to take a hasty decision and join some other party just because he was denied Congress ticket.”

Similarly, Maqbool Ahmed, president of the Central Muslim Association, said it would do good for the veteran leader to continue in the Congress where he has been for years.

A few others wanted him to take a new political plunge “as Parliament needed veterans like him to represent the voiceless”.

They assured him that they (community members) would work in tandem even if he decided to contest as an Independent.