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Karnataka: 5 Cong MLAs threaten to quit over ticket to minister's son-in-law

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
March 27, 2024 18:21 IST
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Five Congress legislators on Wednesday threatened to resign if senior party leader and minister K H Muniyappa's son-in-law Chikka Peddanna was given a ticket to contest from Kolar in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, bringing into open the divisions in the outfit.

IMAGE: Karnataka minister K H Muniyappa with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM D K Shivakumar at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. Photograph: ANI Photo

The party is yet to announce its candidate in the segment, currently held by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The five are opposed to Peddanna's candidature, which would give representation for the Left sect of Scheduled Castes.


The three MLAs from Kolar district -- Kothur G Manjunath (Kolar), K Y Nanjegowda (Malur) and MC Sudhakar (Chintamani) -- and two MLCs -- Anil Kumar and Naseer Ahmed (the political secretary to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah) -- want the ticket to be given to a candidate from Right sect of Scheduled Castes.

Sudhakar is the Higher Education Minister in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet.

S N Narayanaswamy (Bangarapet), another Congress MLA from the district, too said the ticket should be given to SC Right candidate, and that he will decide on his move, once the party decides on the Kolar ticket.

"This is continuation of a fight between two factions of the Kolar Congress, one led by food and civil supplies minister K H Muniyappa and another by former Karnataka assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, vying for supremacy in the district," a party insider said.

Many see it as pressure tactics on the part of a section of Congress leaders in Kolar against Muniyappa and his 'family politics'.

The two MLCs met Legislative Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti and showed their resignation letters to journalists.

The MLAs were planning to travel to Mangaluru to meet Assembly Speaker U T Khader there, but later cancelled their trip as the latter himself said he is on his way to Bengaluru. They are said to have visited the Assembly secretariat.

However, the legislators later said they have decided to wait following instructions from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the party state President D K Shivakumar on their future course of action.

Urban Development Minister B S Suresha, who is Kolar district in-charge Minister, rushed to 'Vidhana Soudha' to meet legislators and sought to convince them not to resign.

Speaking to reporters at Council Chairman's office Suresha said, "On getting to know that legislators are displeased, the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, AICC General Secretary and AICC president asked me to pacify and get them back, and the issue will be resolved amicably. I have informed them of the same thing and they have agreed."

Both chief minister and deputy chief minister, who are on a tour, will be back in Bengaluru tonight and the issue will be discussed thereafter, he said, adding that Kolar ticket has not been announced yet; it will be announced in a couple of days.

Sudhakar said: "Minister Suresha communicated to us the party leadership's instructions, it will also be late by the time the Speaker comes to Bengaluru. We will see what the leadership says and decide our next course of action."

He said they have not yet quit, but have taken the prescribed format of resignation letter from the assembly secretariat.

Nanjegowda said the legislators had together shared their opinion with the party high command regarding the Lok Sabha candidate the legislators and sought change, considering the presence of SC-Right community in large numbers in Kolar.

He said, "Muniyappa is now a Minister, one of his daughters Roopakala Shashidhar is currently a MLA , so we had said the ticket should not be given to their family and someone else from the SC-Right community should be chosen. We have not recommended any names. Even if the high command wants to give it to the Left community we are fine, but change and don't support family politics is our stand."

Muniyappa, a seven-time MP and a former Union Minister, returned to state politics after losing 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He is currently MLA from Devanahalli assembly segment and Minister for Food and Civil Supplies.

Reacting to the developments, Muniyappa said during a recent meeting it was decided by all Congress leaders of the constituency that everyone will abide by the decision of the high command, chief minister and deputy chief minister.

"Today's is a new development. I don't know about it. I will abide by the party's decision."

Muniyappa further said, "This (SC Left) is a big community, the whole state is watching. I'm a disciplined soldier of the party and hope that the high command will take a decision considering all these things."

Stating that he had met Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge and requested for an 'opportunity', he said it has been a practice to give two seats to SC-Left and two to SC-Right; for seven-eight times SC-Left candidate has won from Kolar as Congress is strong in the segment.

Congress has so far given a ticket to B N Chandrappa (Chitradurga) from SC-Left, Kharge's son-in-law (Gulbarga) from SC-Right, and according to sources it is likely to give the Chamarajanagar ticket to Minister H C Mahadevappa's son Sunil Bose, who is from SC-Right.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Siddaramaiah said it is true that there is discontent in Kolar, but the candidate has not been announced yet.

He said they want the ticket to be given to the SC-Right candidate, and the issue will be resolved amicably.

Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress chief Shivakumar too in Karwar said, the party has not decided on the candidate yet and there is no need for anyone to be worried, and that everyone should abide by party discipline.

"I have spoken to everyone, they have agreed. I'm going back to Bengaluru and will resolve everything. We will have to keep the state and party interest in mind," he added.

Meanwhile, Horatti said the MLCs have not yet submitted their resignation, and have sought time.

"They sought an appointment to give resignation, but now they don't want to give. I cannot take from them forcefully. If they give, I will accept," he said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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