It is said that at least two aspirants who failed to obtain the party high command’s favour for ticket are reportedly planning to quit the party.
A day after the Congress high command selected candidates for 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka, several party leaders in the districts are said to be unhappy over the choices — this has turned out to be a cause for concern for the party’s State leadership.
While differences over candidate selection is the norm in every election in most political parties, the Congress is likely to feel the heat all the more since every constituency has at least three aspirants. There is a simmering revolt brewing in the party in the State and it is said that at least two aspirants who failed to obtain the party high command’s favour for ticket are reportedly planning to quit the party.
Interestingly, they still believe they have a chance in getting ticket since the party is yet to officially announce the candidates. Mahima Patel, son of the former Chief Minister J.H. Patel, who is a ticket aspirant for the Davangere constituency, told The Hindu on Saturday that if he was denied ticket, he may quit the party.
He said, “I am a suitable candidate for the Davangere Parliamentary constituency, and if the party decides to field incumbent MLA S.S. Mallikarjun, then the high command should announce my candidature for the byelection to the Legislative Assembly at this juncture itself. If this demand is not met, I will contemplate on quitting the Congress in favour of the Janata Dal (United) or support the Janata Dal (Secular).”
Mr. Patel has already had a stint in the JD(S).
Congress sources said Manjunath Kunnur, who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha election from Dharwad, is also upset over rumours that the party may consider fielding the former Minister A.M. Hindasgeri. Mr. Kunnur said he was hopeful of the high command clearing his name. “Whether I get the ticket or not I will remain loyal to the party,” he said.
The party faced an embarrassment in Dakshina Kannada because of the tiff between the former Union Minister B. Janardhana Poojary and Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily, whose son Harsha Moily was a ticket aspirant and whose nomination for the primary election was rejected.
Finalising the candidate for Bangalore Central has also become a cause for concern for the party with veteran leader C.K. Jaffer Sharief and Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee president Rizwan Arshad vying for ticket.