Karnataka Congress leaders miffed over denial of tickets

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI: After its release of the second list of candidates to contest the coming Karnataka Assembly polls, some Congress leaders – Y.S.V. Datta and Raghu Achar -- are miffed over the denial of tickets and have been contemplating on taking on the Congress Party, saying that they would decide on their future course of action in a couple of days.

Prominent among the leaders displeased over the denial of tickets to them is Y.S.V. Datta, who quit the Janata Dal (Secular) to join the Congress. He was an aspirant for a poll ticket, but the party has made a candidate defeated in the last election, K.S. Anand, its nominee to fight the Kadur seat in Chikkamagaluru district. Mr Datta was a legislator in the JD(S) and he lost to Belli Prakash of the BJP in the 2018 election.

Interestingly the national leadership of the Congress doesn’t seem too perturbed by these developments. Insiders claim that the party will reach out to the aggrieved leaders and things will be settled soon. The party claims that five MLAs of the BJP, two MLCs, 11 former MLAs, four former MLCs and a former MP -- all from the BJP -- have joined the Congress in the last few weeks, which shows that the party is now in a commanding position.

The leaders who joined the Congress leaders from other parties recently include N.Y. Gopalakrishna, Puttanna and Baburao Chinchansur, all from the BJP, and B.L. Devraj and S.R. Srinivas, both from the JD(S), who have all got Congress tickets.

Unhappy over denial of ticket to him, Mr Datta, in a letter to his supporters on April 7, said that the denial of a ticket to him has hurt both him as well as his followers’ self-respect. In the letter, he asked his supporters to attend a meeting on Saturday at 11 am to decide on his future course of action.

Sources in Kadur stated that Mr Datta might contest as an Independent candidate in the forthcoming polls and added that he had even turned down the Congress’ offer of making him an MLC in the coming days.

A BJP leader observed that the BJP in Kadur was strong and nothing substantial would happen to its nominee even if Mr Datta enters the fray as an Independent candidate.

The leader added that the situation may have been different in Kadur had Y.S.V. Datta contested on a Congress ticket considering the personal image of Mr Datta coupled with the Congress party. When contacted, Mr Datta was unavailable for his reaction.

According to the BJP leader, Kadur would see a direct fight between the BJP and the Congress, and exuded confidence that Belli Prakash, the front-runner for the ticket, would emerge victorious considering his steps to develop the seat.

In Chitradurga district, Congress leader and former MLC Raghu Achar expressed displeasure over the denial of ticket to him and bringing Veerendra from the JD(S) and fielding him in Chitradurga Assembly seat.

On Friday, Congress leaders tried to convince Raghu Achar but the former MLC was in no mood to talk to them and sources said Raghu Achar even refused to be felicitated by the Congress leaders. Raghu Achar is said to be in touch with JD(S) leaders and is expected to join the JD(S) and enter the fray as that party’s nominee.

Meanwhile, Raghu Achar told reporters that he would be filing his nominations for Chitradurga seat on April 17.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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