A. Manju is unwelcome, declares Siddaramaiah

BJP leader and former Minister A. Manju is not joining the Congress, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said.

Fielding reporters’ queries here on Saturday, he said Mr. Manju had neither sought to join the Congress nor was the party admitting him.

It may be mentioned here that Mr. Manju’s son Mantar Gowda had been chosen as the Congress’ candidate for the ensuing Legislative Council elections from the local bodies’ constituency in Kodagu, fuelling speculations about Mr. Manju’s re-entry into the Congress.

Mr. Manju was the BJP candidate from the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency in the 2019 polls.

Soon after Mr. Manju’s son was fielded as the Congress candidate, the BJP divested Mr. Manju of all his responsibilities in the party, including his position as the party’s Mandya district in-charge.

Responding to a query on former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa seeking JD (S) support in the elections to the Legislative Council from the local authorities’ constituencies, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the BJP and JD (S) always had a “hidden understanding” in all elections, including the recent byelections.

Pointing out that the JD (S) had fielded its candidates only in six constituencies, Mr. Siddaramaiah said Mr. Yediyurappa had publicly sought JD (S) support.

On JD(S) move

To a question if the Congress would benefit from the withdrawal of nomination by the JD(S) candidate in Kodagu, Mr. Siddaramaiah made it clear that his party would not seek JD(S) support. “We have enough strength,” he said before adding that the party would try its best to win even in Kodagu, which was not an easy constituency for the Congress to win. “Kodagu is not easy for us, but there is a fight. We lost narrowly last time. We will try our best this time,” he said.

Referring to his meeting with party leaders in Mysuru over the elections to the Legislative Council, Mr. Siddaramaiah said party leaders had asked their supporters or the members of the gram panchayats identified with Congress to cast only a single vote in favour of the party candidate.

Though preferential voting pattern was followed in the elections, Congress supporters had been advised to cast a single vote in favour of the party candidate, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 12:05:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/a-manju-is-unwelcome-declares-siddaramaiah/article37731589.ece

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