Home INDIA Congress vs Congress Over Key Karnataka Seat, 5 Legislators Threaten To Quit

Congress vs Congress Over Key Karnataka Seat, 5 Legislators Threaten To Quit

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Congress versus Congress on key seat in Karnataka, five legislators threaten to quit


The fight has exposed factionalism in the Congress in Karnataka.

From a point where it was reportedly struggling to get ministers and lawmakers to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Karnataka, the Congress is now facing a glut problem and a public feud in the prestigious Kolar constituency. Five lawmakers of the party, including a minister, have threatened to resign as the former MP vacated the seat and insisted that his son-in-law be named as the candidate.

The battle has exposed factionalism in the Congress in Karnataka, where the party hopes to do well this time. In the last Lok Sabha elections, the country had managed to get its candidate elected to just one of the 28 seats in the state and had also lost Kolar, where it had lost every time – bar one – since the first general election in 1952. had won.

Since 1991, the constituency was won by KH Muniyappa, who is now the Food and Civil Supplies Minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet and is seeking a ticket for his son-in-law Chikka Peddanna. While the party is yet to announce the candidate, three MLAs from Kolar district, including a minister, and two members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) have already threatened to resign over the proposed move.

The objection stems from the fact that getting the ticket for Mr. Pedanna would ensure representation of communities classified in Karnataka as Scheduled Castes (SC)-Left, as opposed to SC-Right, as the lawmakers are pushing for.

The MLAs who have threatened to resign are G Manjunath (Kolar Assembly constituency), KY Nanjegowda (Malur constituency) and MC Sudhakar (Chintamani constituency) and the MLCs are Anil Kumar and Naseer Ahmed. Mr Sudhakar is the state’s Higher Education Minister and Mr Ahmed is the political secretary to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

While the MLCs met the Speaker of the Legislative Council and showed their resignation letters to journalists, the MLAs planned to meet the Speaker of the Assembly.

Mr. Sudhakar said, “I have full respect for the party high command, but here we want others to be represented. That’s the only problem. Since some people are trying to put pressure on the high command to get the seat, we thought there is no point in continuing there. We would rather stay at home than continue.”

Later, all the legislators decided to defer their resignations after a request from Mr Siddaramaiah and Congress Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar. Urban Development Minister BS Suresha rushed to the lawmakers to convince them not to resign.

Speaking to WhatsNew2Day, Mr Muniyappa, who is a seven-time MP from Kolar and lost to the BJP’s S Muniswamy in 2019, said he might win the seat again if given a chance but he will abide by the decision of the party leadership.

“These things happen, but unfortunately it has now come to a head. We had all met the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister. I told them that I had lost the election only once and appealed to them to give a chance and that I would win the election. They also suggested some names. All MLAs had decided to leave the decision to the party high command and we will adhere to it. That was the end and this is a surprising development.’

“I don’t want to say anything about this matter. I am a disciplined soldier of the party and will abide by whatever the leadership decides,” he added.

Main constituency

The BJP and its ally, Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal Secular, also had differences over who would retain the Kolar constituency, with the latter ultimately getting it within its quota of three. For the Congress, the seat is doubly important as the party came to power in the state in last year’s assembly elections and hoped to make a significant dent in the 25 constituencies that the BJP had won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Political scientist professor Sandeep Shastri said, “This is clearly a problem for the Congress. They lost the seat last time after many elections and now, in their bid to win it back, several groups in Kolar are fighting for space. It will be a test. for his conflict management.”

On whether Congress’s victory in the 2023 elections, when it won 135 of the state’s 224 seats, has a downside, Mr Shastri said: “It is about unity at the local level in the constituency – coming faction leaders together? to make their candidate win or do they take advantage of the opportunity to make their candidate lose.”

He pointed out that it will be crucial for Congress to push forward its message of five guarantees, which was a key factor in the victory of the parliamentary elections.

(With inputs from PTI)

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