The former Railway Minister and senior Congress leader C.K. Jaffer Sharief on Tuesday declared that he would contest from the Bangalore Central constituency in the next Lok Sabha elections and said he would face no problem in getting ticket and elected to Parliament.
Participating in an interaction organised by the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild and Press Club of Bangalore here on Tuesday, he claimed that if he had been given ticket instead of C.M. Ibrahim in the previous polls, the party would have won all the 28 Legislative Assembly seats in this Assembly election.
He also defended his action in getting ticket to his grandson Abdul Rahman Sharief. Brushing aside the question that it amounted to dynastic rule, Mr. Sharief likened it to the “age-old practice of children following the professions of their parents”.
Asked whether the Congress was losing its grip in elections on account of its declining vote bank among Dalits and minorities, he pointed out that Muslims had been fielded in 19 seats in this election.
‘It’s thanks to them’
Mr. Sharief also said it was thanks to the blessings of the majority community that he was able to become Member of Parliament from Kanakapura and Bangalore Central, and he had never felt alienated.
“As a schoolboy, I was introduced to the national movement by S. Vasudeva Rao, hailing from a freedom fighters’ family in Chitradurga, and later Bharata Seva Dal under N.S. Hardikar during the Quit India movement,” he recalled. However, he did point out that people belonging to the Vokkaligas, Lingayats, Brahmins and Other Backward Castes had become Chief Ministers, while Dalits and Muslims were yet to enjoy that position in Karnataka.