K’taka: Congress infighting erupts over Kolar seat nomination

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K’taka: Congress infighting erupts over Kolar seat nomination

Bengaluru: The infighting within the Congress erupted on Wednesday, with a minister, three MLAs, and two MLCs, including the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, threatening to submit their resignations to the Chairman of the Council over the allotment of ticket to Kolar seat.

The leaders claimed they were forced to act against the party’s decision to allot the Kolar seat ticket to K.G. Chikkapeddanna, son-in-law of Minister for Food K.H. Muniyappa.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar rushed back to Bengaluru and convened a meeting in which they clarified that the ticket was not finalised yet.

Minister for Higher Education, M.C. Sudhakar, MLAs G. Manjunath and K.Y. Nanje Gowda, MLC and Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Naseer Ahmad, and MLC Anil Kumar said that they would tender their resignations if the ticket was allotted to Chikkapeddanna.

The rebels reached the office of Basavaraj Horatti, the Chairman of the Legislative Council. MLCs Naseer Ahmad and Anil Kumar also showed their resignation letters to the media.

Minister for Urban Development and Town Planning Byrathi Suresh also rushed to Chairman Horatti’s chamber and conveyed to them that the candidate for the Kolar seat had not been finalised.

The rebel leaders returned without submitting resignation letters afterwards.

MLC Naseer Ahmad said that submitting a resignation is our fundamental right.

“The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have asked us to wait until they arrive in Bengaluru and convene a meeting. It is our duty to respect their words. Our demand is that the ticket for the Kolar seat should be given to a winning candidate. We are not resorting to blackmail,” he said.

“I got the ticket allotted to Minister Muniyappa when I was the minister in 1991. He used to come to me holding a shabby bag,” MLC Naseer Ahmad said.

Minister Sudhakar said: “The message was conveyed while we were with Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti. After meeting the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, we will make a decision.”

Congress MLC Anil Kumar said that the party has made Muniyappa a Minister; his daughter is also an MLA and Chairman of a board.

“The ticket is being given to his son-in-law. We want the ticket to be given to a candidate who hails from a community with a larger population,” he said.

MLA K.Y. Nanje Gowda said that all those opposing the ticket to the son-in-law of Muniyappa are united. It has been conveyed that the candidate will be selected in the presence of all the leaders. “We will respect the decision,” he said.

Minister Bhyrathi Suresh stated that Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has indicated that the candidate for Kolar has not been finalised.

Reacting to the development, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that there is a difference of opinion on the Kolar seat. The candidate has not been announced. The leaders are fearful. There is a demand to issue the ticket to the right faction of the Scheduled Caste category.

“I have spoken to them and asked them to remain calm,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar said that he became aware of the development. Discipline is important in the party. “I will discuss the matter with the CM,” he said.

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