Soon after the Congress party made the list of its 218 candidates for the Karnataka Assembly elections public, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s party is heading for a full-blown revolt. The outraged party leaders are threatening to resign from the primary membership of the party, while others have decided to contest as independent candidates. Reports said several aspirants have been miffed with the party’s candidates’ list and have begun to block roads to express their opposition to the party’s decision across the state. Aspirants from Hangal, Mayakonda, Jagalur, Tiptur, Kunigal, Kolar, Kollegal, Belur, Badami, Kittur and many other constituencies are raising their voices in disagreement.
According to a report in the Times of India, senior leader P Ramesh, who had unsuccessfully contested from CV Raman Nagar in Bengaluru in the 2013 election, made an announcement on Saturday about contesting from the seat as a JD(S) candidate. “This is not Indira Gandhi’s Congress. This is Siddaramaiah’s Tughlaq Congress,” Ramesh was quoted as saying. Congress’ decision of not giving the ticket to former excise minister Manohar Tahsildhar, who currently represents Hangal, also led to a series of protests by his supporters. After not finding out his name on the list, MLA HP Rajesh rushed to Bengaluru to meet the Chief Minister.
As per reports, the party has given time till April 27 to convince its leaders to convince the rebels not to trouble the official candidate list. Reportedly, some leaders have raised objections over the grant of party tickets to recently joined rebels from BJP and JD(S) besides some independents. Meanwhile, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah will be contesting the elections from Chamundeshwari, while his son Dr Yatheendra will contest from Varuna. Elections to the Karnataka Assembly’s 224 constituencies will take place on May 12.