Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah rift may prove costly in Hyderabad- Karnataka region

Is there trouble ahead for the Congress in Hyderabad- Karnataka in the run-up to the coming assembly poll?

Ballari: Is there trouble ahead for the Congress in Hyderabad- Karnataka in the run-up to the coming assembly poll? It is believed that reported differences between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and senior leader, Mallikarjun Kharge over the selection of candidates could stir rebellion in the ranks and hamper its performance in the region.

Worried Congress insiders say that unless the differences between Mr Kharge and the Chief Minister are resolved ahead of the assembly poll, the party is likely to suffer in many constituencies owing to internal squabbling.

Often seen as the ‘high command’ as far as Hyderabad-Karnataka region is considered, Mr Kharge appears to be losing his hold over decision-making in the region.

“In the recent selection of Rajya Sabha candidates, Kharge lobbied hard for the Ballari realtor, Reddy Veeranna, but the Congress selected the lesser known Muslim leader , Syed Nasser Hussain from the H-K region, which is considered a setback for him,” said a senior Congress leader.

Unfortunately for the veteran Congressman, he seems to be on a losing wicket in the coming assembly poll too as it is believed Congress MLA from Ballari, Anil Lad, a Kharge loyalist, may be denied a ticket to contest from the constituency and it could instead go to his cousin and district in- charge minister , Santosh Lad, considered close to Mr Siddaramaiah, or granite baron and former MLA, Suryanarayana Reddy.

Mr Anil Lad has, however, sharply reacted to the rumours saying he was sure his ‘godfather’ Kharge will get him the party ticket this time too. Meanwhile , another Kharge loyalist , and senior MLC, KC Kondaiah too has staked claim for the party ticket from Ballari city.

In Manvi , Raichur district, a Siddaramaiah follower, M. Eeranna is busy with “social work,” financing community borewells, contributing to sports events, and so on in the hope of bagging the ticket for his daughter-in-law, although Mr Hampaiah Naik, a Kharge supporter is the sitting MLA.

Differences between the Chief Minister and Mr Kharge came to the fore when the latter made his displeasure clear over the induction of businessman and NICE Managing Director, Ashok Kheny into the Congress party. His disparaging comments were seen as an indirect attack on Mr Siddaramaiah, who gave the green signal for Mr Kheny’s entry. Adding to the Congress’ discomfort Mr Kharge is also said to be upset with the induction of BJP legislator, Anand Singh from Hosapete and JD(S) legislator Bhima Naik into the party.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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