Staff Correspondent

KOLAR: Dissidence not withstanding, the Congress will emerge triumphant in most of the 11 constituencies in Kolar and Chickaballapur districts, senior Congress leader and Union Minister K.H. Muniyappa has said.

Though some rebel candidates have remained in the fray, that would not affect the prospects of official candidates of the party, Mr. Muniyappa told The Hindu.

“Differences of opinion are common in big parties such as the Congress. But every one should forget factionalism and dissidence during elections and work for the victory of the party candidates. Failing which dissidents have to face disciplinary action,” Mr. Muniyappa remarked referring to the action initiated against the rebel candidates.

Mr. Muniyappa, who is the MP from Kolar Lok Sabha (reserved) segment, brushed aside suggestions that he (Muniyappa) was supporting a faction which is allegedly campaigning against the official Congress candidate in Kolar Gold Fields (SC) Constituency. “The party high command has entrusted me and Chickaballapur MP R.L. Jalappa of the responsibility of ensuring the victory of party candidates in Kolar and Chickaallapur districts. The question of working against the party interests does not arise at all,” he said.

“I am actively participating in canvassing for party candidates, including K. Srinivasa Gowda, who has been projected as my rival. I have worked to bring the warring factions together in several areas, including Malur, Bangarpet and Kolar Gold Fields,” he said. Referring to the defection by some of the leaders such as the former Malur MLA A. Nagaraj, the Union Minister opined that such ditching would not damage the party since workers were with it.

Stressing the need of defeating the BJP, he said that preventing communal forces from coming to power in the State was their priority. “In the present juncture, the Congress alone is a major force which is able to save secular ideals,” he said.