Disgruntled aspirants urged by party supporters to contest polls as Independents

Dissidence reached a feverish pitch on Wednesday, just a day ahead of the closing of nominations. There was rebellion reported and even incidents of violence from various districts by disgruntled Congress ticket aspirants and their supporters. There was one report of a Congress office being vandalised by supporters of disappointed ticket aspirant at Chickballapur. Many other leaders threatened to quit the party and contest as Independents or from other political parties in protest against denial of tickets.

Atmananda to make his move today

Mandya Staff Correspondent reports:

M.S. Atmananda, former Minister and Mandya District Congress Committee president (MDCC) may file his nomination papers as an Independent candidate for the Mandya Assembly constituency on Wednesday.

Mr. Atmananda may also quit the Congress on Wednesday as the party has chosen Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) vice-president M.H. Ambareesh as the party candidate for Mandya segment.

A large number of his followers visited his house and urged him to contest the elections as an Independent.

However, when contacted, Mr. Atmananda himself said: “I have 24 hours to take a decision. I will disclose my stand on Wednesday.”

No support for him

Meanwhile Mr. Ambareesh got a jolt when the MDCC said it would not support to the actor, and would stop campaigning for him for the Assembly elections. MDCC spokesperson T.S. Sathyananda alleged that the actor had been indulging in anti-party activities in Mandya.

“We have already complained to All-India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi about Mr. Ambareesh in a letter on April 11,” Mr. Sathyananda, who is also a KPCC member, told The Hindu here on Tuesday.

Mr. Ambareesh has been duping the party high-command using his charisma, Mr. Sathyananda alleged. He claimed he has ample documents to prove Mr. Ambareesh and his supporters’ involvement in “anti-Congress activities”.

Resigns en masse

Davangere Staff Correspondent reports:

All the 39 councillors of Davangere City Corporation (belonging to the Congress) have tendered their resignations protesting against the decision of the party not to field former Minister S.S. Mallikarjun from Davangere North Assembly constituency. The councillors have faxed their resignation letters to the primary membership of the party to the KPCC office, Bangalore.

The councillors, who staged a dharna in front of the Congress office all through Monday night, decided to resign on Tuesday morning. Councillor Shivanahalli Ramesh said Mr. Mallikarjun was instrumental in the Congress sweep in the recent elections to the corporation and this was why all the councillors decided to resign.

Similarly, president of the District Women’s wing of the Congress, Pushpa Lakshman Swamy, and other office-bearers tendered their resignations to the primary membership of the party.

She was perplexed that the party should deny ticket to a winnable candidate just because he was the son of a leader, Shyamanur Shivashankarappa, who is contesting from Davangere South constituency.

She said both father and son have been given ticket in many constituencies earlier. . Party workers held a meeting on Tuesday and passed a resolution that Mr. Mallikarjun be given party ticket from Davangere North. They also decided to abstain from the elections if the party gave ticket to another candidate. They faxed their resolution to the KPCC and AICC demanding that Mr. Mallikarjun be given ticket in the best interests of the party.

No to outsider

Shimoga Staff Correspondent reports:

B.K. Sangameshwar, Bhadravati MLA, has announced that he will contest the Assembly elections as an Independent candidate as the Congress has decided to field C.M. Ibrahim from Bhadravati Assembly constituency.

Mr. Sangameshwar’s supporters gathered before his house in Bhadravati city on Tuesday in large numbers and were visibly upset by the party decision. In his address to them, Mr. Sangameshwar said: “Though the Congress leadership has neglected me, the people of Bhadravati want me to contest the elections. I will contest as an Independent.”

Mr. Sangameshwar said though Mr. Ibrahim hails from Bhadravati, he had not been residing here for the last 30 years. As he is an outsider, the people of Bhadravati will not support him, he predicted.

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