Many contenders for KPCC chief's post

BANGALORE NOV. 24. There is renewed activity in Congress circles with the AICC indicating that it is considering appointing a new president for the Karnataka PCC to replace Allum Veerabhadrappa who is unwilling to continue in office.

The Social Welfare Minister, A. Krishnappa, is the latest to join those in contention for the post. He is in Delhi to meet the AICC leaders, according to party sources. However, the large-scale misuse of public funds by local bodies in his Varthur Assembly Constituency, which was unearthed by the Lok Ayukta, N. Venkatachala, is a factor being held up against his appointment.

The others being considered are stated to be the former Chief Minister, Veerappa Moily (who heads the Commission on Tax Reforms), the Minister for Health, Family Welfare and Information, Kagodu Thimmappa, the former Minister, B.B. Chimmankatti, M.V. Rajashekaran, K.H. Muniyappa, and D.S. Basavaraju, MPs, the KPCC vice-president, H. Hanumanthappa, who is the vice-chairman of the State Planning Board, and the AICC secretary, B.K. Hariprasad.

Mr. Rajashekaran is the front-runner as the Congress is stated to be keen on wooing the Lingayat community to which he belongs. Mr. Veerabhadrappa, who too is a Lingayat, became the KPCC president in April, succeeding the Agriculture Minister, V.S. Koujalgi, who resigned from the post following a bribery scandal.

Some of the aspirants for the nomination to the Legislative Council in the Congress have also left for Delhi. However, the Government is not in a hurry to make the nominations as the six-year term of the members becomes effective from the date they take the oath as members.

The Co-Chairman of the KPCC Backward Classes Cell, L.R. Ananth, has pressed his claim for nomination on the ground that he belongs to an un-represented backward caste, Devanga.