Barely a week after Infosys co-founder and Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India Nandan Nilekani made known his intentions of fighting the elections he is facing opposition from within the Congress party.
Letters have been sent to the party high command requesting them to reconsider Nilekani as a candidate from Bangalore South. It is more or less clear now that Nilekani will contest on a Congress ticket from the prestigious Bangalore South constituency. He is likely to pitched against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ananth Kumar.
The first sign of rebellion came from Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao. He is seeking a ticket for his friend U B Venkatesh, a realtor.
The high command has not considered Rao’s letter, but his supporters feel that ignoring him would prove costly for the Congress.
Rao’s supporters say the BJP is pushing Modi hard and in order to counter him a person capable of doing ground work is required. They say Nilekani will fail miserably. “There are people who have been with the Congress for the past ten years or more who understand ground realities better. The high command has instead sent its own candidate without consulting with us,” a Congressmen point out.
The Karnataka Congress is not amused with these developments. “These are problems that are part of an election process. If the high command and a majority in the state feel Nilekani is the best for Bangalore South, it obviously is a well thought out decision. We know the voters in South Bangalore want a clean candidate and Nilekani has that clean image. He is the best person to fight against Ananth Kumar,” said a member of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.
Although the rebellion has worried a section of the Congress, they feel the party will overcome it.
When the names are officially announced each one will get down to work, say Congress leaders. Nilekani is not an unknown face, at least in South Bangalore, and is capable of swaying the votes of the I-T sector towards the Congress, they say. Also, talk of Nilekani being considered for the top post if Congress comes to power will further keep the voters interested in him, said a Karnataka Congress member.