The Congress today dropped its candidate for Madikeri, H S Chandramauli, who had represented billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi — both accused in the PNB fraud — in a cheating case in the state High Court in 2016. The Congress party was targeted by the BJP for giving a ticket to Chandramauli. Amit Malviya, the head of BJP’s national information and technology cell, had used the hash-tag #CongressWithNirav to target the Congress. Malviya had questioned the the decision by the party leadership to give Chandramouli a ticket from Madikeri while it denied one to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s legal advisor and party spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa, who hails from the area and was staking a claim on the ticket.
Earlier, Kalappa had also showcased his displeasure after a cryptic message on Twitter: “I have never represented Mehul Choksi nor have I been given the party nomination.”
However, in the second list, Kalappa was again ignored by the party as the ticket was issued to KP Chandrakala. The naming of Chandramauli has turned into a big controversy for Congress.
Kalappa, considered a Congress loyalist, claims that he has been denied a ticket since 2009. In an emotional message on Facebook, Kalappa said, “I have been denied Lok Sabha ticket 2009 and 2014, Rajya Sabha ticket in 2014, 2016, 2018 and now assembly.”
He said, “I will swallow the ignominy of being ousted from the race by a person who joined the party in 2016, got a legislative council ticket the same year, lost and the same person now bags the assembly ticket for Madikeri.”
The Congress leader said that he would try his luck in gram panchayat election next time. “Someone in my party is clearly telling me to seek nomination for a constituency befitting my status. But those FB friends I love and respect – don’t shed tears for me.”
The Congress has also replaced its candidates in Jagalur, a seat reserved for candidates from Scheduled Tribe communities, Tiptur, Malleshwaram, Padmanaba Nagar.
From Kittur, the party has fielded senior leader D B Inamdar, Vithal Dhonidiba Katakdhond from Nagthan, Mallanna Niganna Sali from Sindgi, Sayed Yasin from Raichur and N A Harris from Shantinagar.