By R. Narayan
Mysuru, Apr 16 (HS): The Congress list of Karnataka Assembly election contestants released on Sunday has disappointed more than it has pleased. This is one of the conclusions one can draw from protest rallies and demonstrations in different parts of the state after the list was made public.
Among those who hit the road expressing resentment were supporters of chief minister Siddaramaiah in north Karnataka who were expecting him to fight from Badami constituency in addition to Chamundeshwari in Mysuru district.
Their hope was not based on rumour but hard facts. His office had even announced the date when he was scheduled to file nomination papers from the two seats. The date given for Badami was April 23 and Chamundeshwari April 20.
Their disappointment can be better understood in the light of two facts: one the sitting MLA from Badami had agreed to leave the seat for the chief minister and, two, it was a safer constituency, safer than Chamundeshwari. To all of them the list has come as a shock. Badami seat has been offered to Deoraj Patil.
Some state party leaders see a party president Rahul Gandhi stamp in this decision. “His contesting from two seats would have sent a wrong signal that even the political head of the state is shaky, let alone others”, said one of them.
However, there are others in the party who believe that the Siddaramaiah had a say in the list. According to them, most of his followers have been given tickets. However, he may be a little disappointment because some party hoppers who he disliked have been also accommodated.
As many eight persons who had joined the party recently and had belonged to either the Congress or the Janata Dal (S) will be given Congress symbol.
There is also resentment in the Muslim community because only 15 members of the community have been selected. Nineteen Muslim candidates had fought the previous state Assembly elections. An equal number of women will seek elections on behalf of the party.
There is a section in the party which is angry with the party leadership for selecting even those who were not runners-up and had fared badly. A name mentioned in this connection by many was that of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president.
Party rivals, the BJP and the JD (S), are critical of the party for allotting seats to family members of sitting Assembly members. Their number is given as four. One such member is Ramalinga Reddy, minister for revenue, whose daughter Soumya, will contest May 12 elections along with others.
Another highlight of the list is re-selection of film actor Ambareesh for Mandya seat.
Hindusthan Samachar/ R.Narayan / Shri Ram Shaw\
By R. Narayan