A. Chellakumar, secretary of the All-India Congress Committee and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in-charge secretary, stated that the party high command would initiate stringent action against leaders who “try to deceive” the party candidates in the elections by supporting other contestants.

He was addressing presspersons here on Wednesday. Some leaders in Chitradurga have complained that Congress leaders had supported other contestants instead of the party’s candidate, resulting in the party’s defeat in recent polls. “The issue will be brought to the high command’s notice. They will decide what action should be taken,” he added.

Candidates who have been strictly following the party’s ideology will be preferred while issuing tickets. In addition, candidates should also have served the party for two decades. “Since the party has been ruling in Karnataka and has already fulfilled 40 per cent of its assurances in the last 120 days of its rule, the party high command hopes to win almost all seats in the State,” he said.

Since there is a pro-Congress wave in the State, the number of aspirants demanding ticket to contest in the elections is also more in all of Karnataka’s constituencies. In Chitradurga, the number of aspirants has already crossed 35. The party would give tickets only to those candidates who have really struggled to strengthen the party from the grassroots.

Difference of opinion among leaders and workers of the party came to the fore during Mr. Chellakumar’s visit. Members belonging to the party’s youth wing staged a protest outside the District Congress Committee office, demanding the immediate removal of DCC president M.A. Sethuram. They alleged that Mr. Sethuram had failed to take party workers and leaders into confidence during the elections.