Mandya: Demand for expulsion of former Congress legislators who stayed away from joint campaign in favour of JD(S) candidate in Mandya, is growing within the party.
Fomer Congress legislators N. Cheluvarayaswamy, Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, Chandrashekar and P.M. Narendraswamy openly defied the party diktant by not only skipping the joint campaign in Srirangapatna, Nagamangala, K R Pet and Malavalli but also abstained from a road show held by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in K R Nagar last week. This has angered the state leaders who were now thinking of initiating action against those ex-MLAs for not obeying the party diktat. Former CM and CLP leader Siddaramaiah had held several rounds of talks with the disgruntled Mandya Congress leaders to convince them to campaign for Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of CM H.D. Kumaraswamy and JD(S) candidate in Mandya. But, they refused to heed to Siddaramaiah’s directions and not campaigned for the coalition candidate till date.
With this, those former MLAs had openly launched a banner of revolt and were ready to face any action from the party but not to campaign for Nikhil, son of their foe Kumaraswamy. One of the legislators had told Deccan Chronicle that they would not campaign for the coalition candidate but would certainly attend Rahul’s road show. However, none of the four ex-legislators attended the road show which caused a major embarrassment for the state leaders. Since from the beginning, Mandya Congress leaders had been opposing the JD(S) with which they had been fighting in all elections. After the coalition government came into being, the Congress and the JD(S) leaders held a joint meeting and decided to give the Mandya seat to JD(S) in bypolls held in November last year, after the sitting MP C.S. Puttaraj of JD(S) resigned on getting elected to the Assembly.