Bengaluru: Much to the discomfiture of senior leaders, former minister and disqualified legislator R. Roshan Baig's aide and youth leader B. R. Naidu, MLC, Rizwan Arshad, and many Muslim leaders were reportedly locked in a wordy duel over the issue of seeking a ticket for Shivajinagar Assembly constituency, on Wednesday.
At a meeting of ticket aspirants, convened in the party office, Mr Naidu was allowed to attend after he staged a protest outside the venue, but got into an argument with Mr Arshad as soon as the deliberations commenced.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader said Mr Arshad reportedly remarked that Mr Naidu was staunch supporter of Mr Baig, to which Mr Naidu retorted, "Yes, I am a Congress man and remain his supporter as long as Mr Baig stays with our party. I do not have any remorse about being supporter of Mr Baig."
The leader added that as the meeting progressed, Mr Arshad appealed to top brass to allow him to contest from the constituency based on the winability factor. "I have secured 50,000 votes when I had contested as Lok Sabha candidate in 2019. So I stand a better chance," he added.
Mr Naidu, however, objected saying a MLC and twice defeated Bengaluru Central MP candidate should not be given a chance. "He has a constituency to nurture (Bengaluru Central), let him focus on that. When it comes to grabbing power, he is always comes first. Instead of him, I should be considered for the ticket as I have worked with Mr Baig and am familiar with every trick he adopts, " he added.
Though Mr Naidu pleaded his case, CLP leader, Mr Siddaramaiah interrupted saying the ticket for Shivajinagar constituency was given to minority candidates for several decades and this time too party does not wish to change the selection process.
Mr Naidu's outbursts, however, provided adequate ammunition to other Muslim leaders attending the meeting. They demanded that they should be considered instead of Mr Arshad as he was already a sitting MLC. "He has been tested twice. This is the first time that Shivajinagar is open for others (minority leaders). Let the party choose any minority leader especially he should be young enough to attract youths as well as he should be able to attract all communities," other minority leaders including his meternal uncle, Syed Ahmed reportedly argued.
Meanwhile, KPCC president, Dinesh Gundu Rao, on Wednesday clarified that his party has no intentions of poaching leaders of other parties.
Spiking rumours about BJP leaders including Nandish Reddy ( K. R. Puram) and Sharath Bacche Gowda (Hosakote) reaching out to Congress, Mr Rao said, "Why do we need leaders from outside? We have enough number of leaders in our party, and we will focus on them instead of bringing anyone from other parties."...