Bangalore, April 16, 2013
Buckling under pressure by the former Union Minister and actor M.H. Ambareesh, the Congress high command on Monday withdrew Ravindra Srikantaiah as its candidate from Srirangapatna and tried to put an end to an otherwise ugly development for the party in Mandya district.
The decision followed a meeting by Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah with the actor, who was reportedly told by him that one Lingaraju may be fielded in the ancient temple town. His follower D.L. Ravi, who started campaigning as his name had been cleared for Melkote, withheld it after learning that Mr. Ambareesh had announced that he would not file nomination papers.
But, the rebellion in the party has spread to some other constituencies and the former minister and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president A. Krishnappa has declared that he was leaving the party to join the Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and MP H.D. Kumaraswamy, who have assured a ticket to him from Hiriyur.
Enraged by the decision to field Bhyrati Basavaraju in K.R. Puram, Mr. Krishnappa alleged that he was betrayed and the party did not respect his seniority and loyalty. The Congress had already admitted the former Minister D. Sudhakar, an independent MLA, and given ticket to contest from Hiriyur.
Another senior Congress leader H.M. Revanna, who was planning to join the Janata Dal (Secular), has been pacified and assured of an “appropriate” position if the party comes to power. In the last few days, BJP leaders including Belur Gopalakrishna, Shashil Namoshi, Manappa Vajjal and Raju Gowda joined the JD(S). The former MLA Parimala Nagappa, who identified with Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), also joined the JD (S).
G. Padmavathi, three-time BBMP councillor, is contesting as a rebel candidate in Rajajinagar. Angered by the Congress decision to give ticket to the Karnataka Mahila Congress president Manjula Naidu, she said she had polled 35,000 votes in 2008 elections, but the party did not respect her father’s service as a freedom fighter. The former minister Rani Satish is cut up with the decision in Rajajinagar. Reddy Samaja leader and former MLA B.V. Ramachandra Reddy in a letter to KPPC president G. Parameshwara criticised him for ignoring aspirants of his caste in the city. He said the Congress had given tickets to only two, whereas the BJP had fielded four candidates.
Meanwhile, a source in KPCC said that party aspirants in about 30 constituencies were unhappy and were likely to play spoilsport in the fortunes of the official candidates.
Shaku gets Puttur ticket
Bangalore, Apr 16: The Congress announced its third list of 7 candidates late night on Monday April 15.
Shakuntala Shetty, who made a comeback into politics by joining Congress recently, has got the ticket from Puttur.
Shakuntala Shetty became MLA of Puttur with BJP ticket in 2004 elections, before being expelled for anti-party activities in 2008, when she was denied the ticket. She then took a sabbatical from politics, during which period there were reports that she would be joining JD(S) and later Yeddyurappa’s KJP. On February 25 this year, she joined Congress.
She will be contesting against Sanjeeva Matandoor from BJP.
Apart from Shaku, Congress has given the ticket to former union minister C M Ibrahim who will contest from Bhadravati.
However, Ibrahim’s choice seems to have created a chaos in the party, as sitting MLA from Bhadravati Sangameshwar has taken offence and reportedly decided to contest as an Independent.
Meanwhile, bowing to pressure from actor-turned-politician Ambareesh, who is contesting from Mandya, the party has decided to withdraw Ravindra’s candidature from Srirangapattana and has instead decided to field Lingaraju. Ambareesh had threatened not to contest in the elections if the party high command went ahead with Ravindra A S, who he said had worked against him in 2008 elections.
The party is yet to announce candidates for two more constituencies – Davangere North and Kaup.