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April 24, 2018
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12 Congress MLAs denied renominationParty fields 15 women candidates; names for five constituencies yet to be announced

Twelve incumbent MLAs have been denied ticket by the Congress to contest the Legislative Assembly elections scheduled on May 12.

They are N.Y. Gopalakrishna (Ballari Rural), Chimmankatti (Badami), Makbul S. Bagwan (Vijayapura City), K. Shivamurthy (Mayakonda), Manohar T. Tahsildar (Hanagal), G. Ramakrishna (Gulbarga Rural), Basavaraj N. Shivannnavar (Byadagi), H.P. Rajesh (Jagalur), B.M. Nagaraj (Siriguppa), G.H. Srinivas (Tarikere), K. Shadakshari (Tiptur), and S. Jayanna (Kollegal).

In Kalaburagi Rural (SC) constituency, Vijaykumar, son of Mr. Ramakrishna, has been given ticket.

Women candidates

A total of 15 women candidates, including former Bengaluru Mayor Padmavati (Rajajinagar) and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee women’s wing president Laxmi Hebbalkar (Belagavi Rural), have made it to the list. Other women candidates who got ticket are Anjali Nimbalkar (Khanapura); Minister Umashree (Terdal); Roopa Sridhar (KGF); Sowmya Reddy (Jayanagar); Shakuntala Shetty (Puttur); Motamma (Mudigere); Geetha Mahadeva Prasad (Gundlupet); Sharada Shetty (Kumta); K. Fatima (Kalaburagi North), wife of former Minister the late Qamarul Islam; A.L. Pushpa (Jagalur); Vani Krishna Reddy (Chintamani); Sushma Rajgopal Reddy (Bommanahalli); and Kirtana Rudra Gowda (Belur), wife of former MLA the late Rudra Gowda.

Two former IAS officers Siddaiah (Sakleshpur) and Syed Zameer Pasha (Kolar) have been given ticket. State Government Employees’ Union president Manje Gowda has been fielded from Holenarsipur. Three youth leaders — NSUI president H.S. Manjunath (Mahalakshmi Layout), Vinod K. Asooti (Navalgund), and B. Yogesha Babu (Molakalmuru ST) — have also been given ticket.

Meanwhile, candidates have not yet been announced for Sindagi, Nagathana, Kittur, Raichur, and Shantinagar segments. The party has already decided to support deceased farmers’ leader K.S. Puttanaiah’s son Darshan in Melkote.

Dissension

To contain dissension, All-India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi held a meeting with aspirants, who have been denied ticket, and persuaded them to work for the party’s victory. He told them that they would be rewarded if the party returned to power. However, leaders who have been denied ticket have expressed their anger and launched protests. April 24 is the last day for filing nomination papers across the State.

Stall CM’s plan

It is said that senior party leaders M. Mallikarjun Kharge, M. Veerappa Moily, and K. Rahman Khan reportedly opposed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s intention to contest from Badami in Bagalkot district. Citing former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna’s case (contested from Maddur in 1999 and Chamarajpet in 2004), senior leaders argued that contesting from two constituencies by the Chief Minister would send out a wrong message to the electorate.