Karnataka

Rift in Congress likely to have bearing on politics in Narasimharaja constituency

The differences that have erupted in the Congress over former Minister Tanveer Sait’s decision to align with the Janata Dal (S) in the mayoral polls in Mysuru are expected to have a bearing on the politics of Narasimharaja Assembly segment in the district.

Counted among the Assembly segments to be a safe bet for the Congress in the State, Narasimharaja had backed Mr. Sait in the past five elections. However stiff the contest for the party’s poll nomination from the constituency segment has been, it has always favoured Mr. Sait, who also enjoys the political legacy of his late father Azeez Sait.

During a recent outburst after the mayoral poll controversy erupted, Mr. Sait recalled the reported efforts made during successive elections to keep him out of the electoral contest, apparently referring to his detractors in the party and in his own Assembly constituency.

When two former Mayors — Arif Hussain and Ayub Khan — called for his suspension from the party for the sloganeering against former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Mr. Sait said the discontent against him, which remained behind the scenes so far, was now out in the open. In the Muslim-dominated Narasimharaja constituency, Mr. Sait has hitherto managed to stave off not only a threat to his leadership from his own partymen, but also the serious electoral challenge posed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Social Democratic Party of India in the last few elections.

While Mr. Sait has grown in political stature over the years, and was even given a ministerial berth, his detractors in the party detest the coterie that surrounds him.

Even though Mr. Sait, who has been summoned by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar, is hoping that the party will do justice to him, it remains to be seen if the differences between him and Mr. Siddaramaiah over the mayoral polls will lead to the party taking action against him.

JD(S) invite

Meanwhile, the invitation extended by the JD(S) to Mr. Sait to join the party if the Congress removes him has set off speculation in political circles. Even though the JD(S) is not new to Mr. Sait, who served as a councillor in the Mysuru City Corporation representing the regional party before becoming a Congress MLA, the prospect queers the electoral pitch in the constituency. It may open up opportunities for his political detractors in the Congress to stake a claim for the party’s nomination from Narasimharaja.

If Mr. Sait successfully argues his case and the party takes no action against him, it remains to be seen how he will handle his detractors.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 9:56:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/rift-in-congress-likely-to-have-bearing-on-politics-in-narasimharaja-constituency/article33966777.ece

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