Section of party workers stage protest, flay sidelining Ivan

A group of Congress activists led by former Mayor K. Ashraf staged demonstration in front of the party office against denial of ticket to Ivan D’Souza from the Mangalore City South Assembly constituency.

The Congress on Friday announced former Mangalore City Corporation commissioner and a new entrant to the Congress party, J.R. Lobo as its candidate for the city.

“We are pained over the decision denying opportunity for a committed activist Mr. D’Souza. He has worked tirelessly for the growth of the party here. A person who joined the party only a few months ago has been made the candidate,” said Mr. Ashraf. The former Mayor had vociferously opposed Mr. Lobo’s entry into the party at a function at the party office in July last year.

The Congress party has also been accused of overlooking the seniority of Kallige Tharanath Shetty and Suresh Ballal while naming the candidate. The party, however, is yet to announce its candidate for the Mangalore North Assembly constituency.

Mr. Ashraf and his supporters raised slogans against the decision. “We want to know reasons why Mr. D’Souza has been denied opportunity to contest from Mangalore South,” said General Secretary of Dakshina Kannada Pradesh Congress Committee Michael Patrick Lobo.

In February, Mr. Ashraf, who is the president of the Mangalore Block Congress Committee, had openly expressed his resentment over not including him in the party’s committee to select candidates for the Mangalore City Corporation Council elections. He sprung a surprise again by announcing resignation as the president of the block Congress. Mr. Ashraf had earlier hit the headlines after questioning Senior Congress leader B. Janardhan Poojary for prescribing a “dress code” for the party workers and leaders.