D.K. Kishan Rao

Amareshwara Naik’s followers may not support them

Amareshwara Naik was denied ticket to contest from Raichur Rural segment

However, he said he will abide by the decision of the party high command

Raichur: The denial of Congress ticket to the former Minister Raja Amareshwara Naik is likely to mar the prospects of party candidates in Raichur Rural, Deodurga and Lingsugur constituencies.

Last week, the supporters of Mr. Amareshwara Naik staged a dharna in Raichur and locked up the office of the district unit of the Congress. They alleged that A. Venkatesh Naik, MP, was responsible for the denial of party ticket to their leader.

Mr. Amareshwara Naik was a strong contender for ticket to contest from Raichur Rural segment (earlier Kalmala segment) from where he was elected to the Assembly in the 1999 elections.

He was re-nominated to the same constituency in the 2004 Assembly elections. But he lost his seat to the former Minister Muniyappa Middappa of Janata Dal (Secular).

Now the party has fielded Raja Rayappa Naik, Mr. Amareshwara Naik’s brother, from the Raichur Rural segment.

Disappointed

This has not only disappointed Mr. Amareshwara Naik but has also irked his followers in the constituency. Though Mr. Amareshwara Naik has decided to remain in Congress and not to contest elections as an independent, his followers in the constituency may work against the party candidate.

The situation may also affect the prospects of party candidates in Lingsugur and Deodurga constituencies where Mr. Amareshwara Naik has influence over the voters.

Mr. Venkatesh Naik, who was a member of the Congress selection committee, is contesting from Deodurga constituency and the president of the district unit of the Congress A. Vasanthkumar is contesting from Lingsugur (SC). Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, Mr. Amareshwara Naik said that the party had denied re-nominating him for the Raichur Rural segment.

He alleged that Mr. Venkatesh Naik was responsible. However, he said he would abide by the decision of the party high command.

He added that his followers in the district were unhappy over the denial of ticket to him and they may not back party candidates in some constituencies.

In answer to a question, Mr. Amareshwara Naik said that as of now he had no plans to take up campaigning for the party candidates in the district.

However, he would consult his followers whether to participate in the election campaign or not, he added.

More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL