Congressmen close ranks against Jaffer Sharief'
Deccan Chronicle| n. b. hombal
Mr. Rehman Khan and Mr. Ibrahim have taken up as a challenge to ensure a victory for Mr. Rizwan Arshad
Congress party workers during Chief Minister Siddaramaiahs election rally at Mudhol in Bagalkot on Tuesday | Photo KPN
Bengaluru: In an effort to neutralize the impact of veteran Congress leader C K Jaffer Sharief's decision to stay after from electioneering, various minorities' leaders like Union minister K Rehman Khan and former Union minister C M Ibrahim are working overtime in Lok Sabha constituencies dominated by minorities.
Sources in Congress told Deccan Chronicle that Mr. Rehman Khan and Mr. Ibrahim have taken up as a challenge to ensure a victory for Mr. Rizwan Arshad (Bangalore (Central) and other Muslim candidates. They are working with various Ulemas to off-set the absence of Mr. Sharief from the campaign.
Sources said "Mr Sharief's long absence from state politics will definitely help in breeding new generation of young leaders like KPYCC president
Rizwan Arshad who is contesting from Bangalore Central constituency. Mr. Sharief is 83. He should make way for a new face," the sources added.
A Congress leader speaking on the condition of anonymity said "this so-called friendship between Mr. Jaffer Sharief and Mr. Deve Gowda is bunkum. Who fielded C M Ibrahim against Mr. Sharief? Mr. Gowda. He's nobody's friend."
Sources said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has backed Mr Arshad's candidature from the beginning, has roped-in five ministers, agriculture minister C. Krishna Byregowda, food and civil supplies minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, home minister K. J. George, Haj minister R. Roshan Baig and transport minister R. Ramalinga Reddy in order to attract votes of people belonging to all communities in this high-profile constituency.
Besides, Mr Siddaramaiah has also roped in Union minister for surface transport Oscar Feranades and Mr George to 'placate' Christians and secure their support for Mr. Arshad.