A section of Congress activists who are followers of the former Minister Kumar Bangarappa staged a protest outside the Shimoga District Congress Committee office here on Friday against the party’s decision to deny him an opportunity to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress has decided to field Manjunath Bhandary from Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency. Addressing the activists, G.D. Narayanappa, former MLA, demanded that the party leadership reconsider its decision.
Mr. Bangarappa is an experienced politician and has maintained a good relationship with the public. Party workers in the district want him to contest the polls, Mr. Bhandary said. “The Bharatiya Janata Party has announced its decision to field the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as its candidate from Shimoga constituency. Mr. Bangarappa, who enjoys the support from all sections of the society, has the potential to defeat Mr. Yeddyurappa,” he said.
Ikkeri Ramesh, secretary of Backward Class wing of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, said that Mr. Bangarappa’s sister Geetha Shivarajkumar would contest the election as the Janata Dal(Secular) candidate. The Congress has denied Mr. Bangarappa a ticket in order to avoid division of votes.
Party leaders should realise that the voters in Shimoga district will not support Ms. Shivarajkumar who was not been involved in pro-people struggles, Mr. Ramesh said.
Party activist Imtiaz Khan said that party leaders were misguided on the political situation in Shimoga owing to which Mr. Bangarappa was denied a ticket.