All India Congress Committee general secretary Oscar Fernandes on Friday counselled disgruntled party ticket aspirants to emulate party president Sonia Gandhi and work to bring the Congress to power in the State and hinted at some action being taken against those who were “not behaving in tune with the party discipline”.
Participating in a meet-the-press programme organised by the Bangalore Reporters Guild and Press Club of Bangalore, he replied to a volley of questions on what action he was going to take against aspirants, who had filed nomination papers protesting against the official candidates in some constituencies and counselled to sacrifice for the party.
Mr. Fernandes admitted that this was posing a serious challenge to the party and it would be solved at the earliest. He evaded queries on why suitable candidates were not fielded in constituencies such as Jayanagar, Basavanagudi, Rajajajeswari Nagar and Hebbal.
On why it did not keep up its promise of giving ticket to former ministers C.P. Yogeshwar and Raju Gowda, he said it was true that some senior State leaders made promises, but could not oblige them when a decision was taken at the national level. However, he hinted at taking action in a few days against Muniratna, arrested for threatening the Returning Officer with dire consequences, while filing nomination papers from Rajarajeswari Nagar.
On Chief Minister
Mr. Fernandes on Friday said party president Sonia Gandhi would have no problem in deciding on who should be the Chief Minister of Karnataka after the election results were announced.
He said Ms. Gandhi had “sacrificed” the post of prime minister and what the people in the State wanted was that the Congress should come to power. They are not interested in who takes over as Chief Minister, he added.
Asked whether his party was extending dynastic rule to the State also by giving ticket to the children of Union Minister for Labour and Employment Mallikarjun Kharge and the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, he said both Mr. Priyank Kharge and Ajay Singh had been defeated in the last Assembly elections and on that criteria they were given ticket.
Mr. Fernandes said that there could be no comparison between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president and MP Rahul Gandhi.