Hebbal bypoll: Congress old guard turns tide for Sharief

the state unit and camp followers of Mr Siddaramaiah were cocksure that Mr Suresh would be given the ticket.

BENGALURU: In a major snub handed out to CM Siddaramaiah, top central leaders of Congress picked former Union minister and party veteran C.K. Jaffer Sharief’s grandson Abdul Rehman Sharief over the Kuruba strongman’s multi-millionaire friend Byrathi Suresh for next month’s bypoll to Hebbal Assembly constituency.

Till Monday night, the state unit and camp followers of Mr Siddaramaiah were cocksure that Mr Suresh would be given the ticket.

The tide, however, turned in favour of Mr Sharief's grandson as many party veterans like former external affairs minister S.M. Krishna, Mallikarjuna Kharge, Oscar Fernandes, B.K. Hariprasad and Veerappa Moily reportedly backed Mr Rehman Sharief.

Their support came in view of their long association with Mr Sharief. Besides, these leaders felt that it would be “inappropriate” to take away the constituency from a Muslim candidate and replace him with a Kuruba at a time when the party had not given tickets to any one from that community during the recent polls to the Council, sources said adding that all of them argued that if the party failed to field a Muslim candidate from Hebbal, it would have an impact on Muslim voters ahead of the ZP,TP polls.

Speaking to DC, a leader from Delhi disclosed that this was the second instance of the CM losing out to Mr Sharief with regard to distribution of ticket for Hebbal.

“First, Mr Siddaramaiah had failed to get the ticket for his close associate and fellow Kuruba H. M. Revanna during Assembly elections held in 2013. This time, Mr Siddaramaiah had made it a personal battle and almost announced Mr Suresh's name unilaterally, that too, after KPCC's office bearer's meeting passed a unanimous resolution against giving a ticket to an ‘outsider’.”

JD(S) to field Muslims in Hebbal, Bidar
In a move which could queer the pitch for candidates of the ruling Congress, leaders of Janata Dal (Secular) on Tuesday decided to field Muslim candidates in Hebbal and Bidar Assembly constituencies for which bypolls would be held next month.

Both Bidar and Hebbal constituencies have substantial number of Muslim voters. While Congress has fielded Mr Rahim Khan (Bidar) and former Union minister C K Jaffer Sharief’s grandson Abdul Rehaman Sharief (Hebbal), leaders of Janata Dal (Secular) picked Mr Ayaz Khan and Mr Ismail Sharief respectively with an intention to split the votes of Muslims in both these constituencies.

In Hebbal constituency, there are a substantial number of Vokkaliga voters too. Leaders of JD (S) plan to capitalize on their hold over voters of this community and the support of Muslims in both these constituencies and therefore could pose problems for candidates of Congress. In Devadurga, the party has fielded Kariyamma Nayak.

Speaking to media persons after releasing the list candidates for bypolls to three Assembly seats, Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H D Deve Gowda said that all three candidates would submit their nomination papers on Wednesday.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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