Mangaluru

Fissures in Congress ahead of Mangaluru City Corporation council elections

The former MLA and Congress leader K. Vijaya Kumar Shetty (second from right) and Congress leader Kallige Taranath Shetty (third from right) addressing a press conference in Mangaluru
on Friday.

The former MLA and Congress leader K. Vijaya Kumar Shetty (second from right) and Congress leader Kallige Taranath Shetty (third from right) addressing a press conference in Mangaluru on Friday.  

Leaders accuse party of taking unilateral decision in selection of candidates

Fissures in the Congress over fielding candidates for the November 12 elections to the Mangaluru City Corporation council came to the fore with two senior party leaders on Friday accusing the party of taking a unilateral decision and denying party ticket to the followers of senior party leader B. Janardhan Poojary.

Addressing presspersons here, K. Vijaya Kumar Shetty, former Congress MLA, and Kallige Taranath Shetty, a former secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said that the party has not selected its candidates democratically. Instead, party ticket (B form) have been issued to those who have been recommended by the former party MLAs B.A. Mohiuddin Bava, J.R. Lobo and B. Ramanath Rai, they said.

In the ground level, chiefs of Block Congress units have not been been consulted in the selection of the candidates, they said.

Mr. Vijaya Kumar Shetty, a two-time party MLA from the erstwhile Surathkal constituency, said that when senior party leaders Oscar Fernandes, late Blasius M. D’Souza and Mr. Poojary were in charge of the party affairs in the district, the selection of candidates for all elections were being done in a democratic manner by consulting the Block Congress units first. This practice has been overlooked while selecting candidates for this month’s election to the council, he said.

“Some leaders within the Congress having vested interests are making the party a scapegoat,” Mr. Shetty added.

He said that it was not right on the part of the party to deny party ticket to the former Mayor Gulzar Banu. The party should have intervened to prevent a case from being filed against her son Azimuddin Sheikh in a case of attack on Mr. Bava on the matter of issuing ticket on Wednesday. Now, Mr. Sheikh, a party worker, has been sent to jail.

“It was not such a serious matter which deserved a jail term,” both Mr. Vijayakumar Shetty and Mr. Kallige Taranath Shetty said. “Where is the commission of a non-bailable offence?” Mr. Kallige Taranath Shetty, who is also an advocate, asked.

Mr. Vijaya Kumar Shetty said that some contractors have brought pressure on Ms. Banu asking her not to contest the election.

“The Congress is now facing scarcity of tatwa and siddantha. It should correct itself,” Mr. Vijaya Kumar Shetty said.

Mr. Kallige Taranath Shetty, also a former chairman of Karnataka Cashew Development Corporation, said that there was a conspiracy to sideline Mr. Poojary by denying party ticket to his followers in the council election.

The party has denied ticket to the former Mayors Mahabala Marla and Purandaradasa Kuloor and State general secretary of INTUC Sashiraj Kombettu, he said.

The former Mayor Mr. Kuloor said that he would announce his decision on whom to support in this election within two days.

Mr. Kombettu was also present at the press conference.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:00:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/fissures-in-congress-ahead-of-corpn-council-elections/article29858293.ece

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