Protests continue outside Congress HQ; other party offices wear deserted look

In view of the ongoing scramble for ticket, the police are deployed at the Congress office on Queen’s Road in Bangalore. Photo: K. Gopinathan

In view of the ongoing scramble for ticket, the police are deployed at the Congress office on Queen’s Road in Bangalore. Photo: K. Gopinathan  

On Monday, it was the supporters of Gurappanapalya councillor Rizwan Nawab

The Congress headquarters here on Queen’s Road continued to reverberate with sounds of rebellion on Monday while a slumberous silence prevailed at the headquarters of the other major political parties.

A few hundred supporters of Gurappanapalya Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palice (BBMP) Councillor Mohammed Rizwan Nawab gathered outside the Congress office demanding ticket for their leader from the Jayanagar Assembly constituency.

Pointing to the party’s defeat by a huge margin during the last elections, Mr. Nawab’s supporters said that the loss was because the party did not field him in that election.

‘Bribery’ attempt

Even as one of Mr. Nawab’s men tried to stuff a Rs. 1,000 note into this reporter’s pocket, his sloganeering supporters hailed him as a man with a “clean image”. Saifunissa, one of his supporters, gushed: “He is one of the few non-corrupt and development-oriented leaders in the Congress unit of the city.”

Pointing to his victory margin of 8,500 votes during the municipal elections, Mr. Nawab wrote in his memorandum to KPCC president G. Parameshwara that 60,000 of the 1,64,000 voters in Jayanagar Assembly constituency belong to the minority community. “Keeping this in mind, the Janata Dal (S) has fielded a minority candidate,” the memorandum said.

Action is elsewhere

A few kilometres away, the Janata Dal(S) office on Race Course Road resembled the schools and colleges in the city that are shut for summer vacations. “Why would anybody hang around here? The action is in our district offices at Ramanagaram, Mandya, Mysore and Chamrajnagar,” said one of the few party functionaries present there.

A small group of party workers stood talking in hushed tones near the parking lot.

“We are from Mandya. The party hasn’t yet announced the candidate from Mandya city. We are waiting for the announcement,” said B. Prakash. They said that they were here to lobby for their leader but refused to divulge his name. How long do they plan to wait? “As long as it takes,” said Sudarshan Ramesh.

A dozen women were involved in an animated discussion inside the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) office in Malleswaram. “We are deciding who will lead the women’s units of the party in various Assembly constituencies,” said Tejaswini.

But, why aren’t men part of the discussion? “They don’t care. The party is focussing on the Lingayat belt in north Karnataka. Why would they bother with the women units of Bangalore?” said one of the women.

Then why bother forming such units?

“To add depth to the campaigning,” said the same woman.

Not a soul

There wasn’t a soul at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office a few blocks away in Malleswaram. Perhaps, everyone was at the party convention at Palace Grounds. The palatial office of the BSR Congress in Kumara Park had a few people milling around but they refused to speak to The Hindu.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:09:25 AM |

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