Karnataka election 2018: A fully-blown revolt has broken out in the Karnataka Congress over the party’s list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections 2018. Soon after the declaration of the Congress party’s list of 218 candidates, a number of Congress leaders threatened to resign from the party and targetted state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Not only this, Congress workers staged also protests in the public at many places.
The voices of dissent from within the Congress came from several constituencies including Hangal, Mayakonda, Jagalur, Tiptur, Kunigal, Kolar, Kollegal, Belur, Badami, Kittur. The Congress workers also staged protests against their own party at several places in the state as a number of party leaders are disgruntled over denial of party ticket.
At Azad Park of Chikamagalur, Gayathri Shantegowda’s supporters protested and set tyres on fire. Shantegowa is among the many Congress leaders denied tickets for contesting in upcoming elections. Similarly, supporters of MLA DB Inamdar protested in Belagavi. They blocked road and burnt tyres. MLA GH Srinivas’ supporters staged a dharna in Tarikire. They said that Srinivas would contest as a rebel candidate. In Kolar, VR Sudarshan’s supporters protested against the CM.
The factional fight in the Karnataka Congress is likely to hurt the party, especially when BJP’s aggressive campaigning led by president Amit Shah threatens to change equations in the run-up to the polls. However, this is nothing new. Siddaramaiah’s actions have pitted the Congress’ old guards against the one led by the CM. The Congress old guard in the state still sees Siddaramaiah as an outsider who came from JD(S) but is angry as the latter has dominated ticket distribution.
Siddaramaiah has also inducted several leaders from the opposition JD(S) as well as the BJP, forcing several Congress old-timers to take the exit route.
For the Karnataka elections, Congress has not followed the “one-family, one-ticket formula”. The party has granted tickets to the chief minister’s son, the Home minister’s daughter and the Law minister’s son. The party had followed this rule in Punjab also where it won with a thumping majority last year.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah has decided to contest from Chamundeshwari and ended speculations that he may opt to contest from a second constituency, Badami in Bagalkote district of the state. Siddaramaiah was earlier representing Varuna in Mysuru.
For the upcoming polls, Congress has dropped 12 sitting MLAs. But it includes all the ministers, 15 women candidates, seven former JD(S) MLAs and two BJP turncoats.