Karnataka Elections: Revolt in Navalgund Congress

HUBBALLI: The Congress’s move to field a younger candidate in Navalgund seems to have not gone down well among the leaders of the local unit. An early sign of revolt is seen as some of them have decided to contest as independent candidates and others are thinking of quitting the party.

Though there were a band of aspirants to contest from Navalgund constituency, the party leadership was sceptical about their, except 28-year-old District Youth Congress president Vinod Asut, potential to win the elections.

Since this seat is eluding the party since 2004, the leadership has decided to field a young face. Whether he wins or loses this election, he will get time to nurture the party in the constituency.

Selection of Asuti was a big shock for senior leader K N Gaddi, who was the minister in the Krishna government. Since both belong to Kuruba community, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah might have favoured the former. Moreover, Gaddi lost the last three elections from the seat and it might have gone against him.

Disappointed over the party’s decision, Gaddi is mulling over quitting the party. He said his chances to win the elections is more this time as the public sentiment is in his favour. He said he will meet the party leadership and express his displeasure. If the situation demands, he will quit the Congress and decide on next course of action after meeting his followers and well-wishers, Gaddi said.

Besides Gaddi, there were six ticket aspirants — party’s district-rural unit president H V Madalli, former ZP member Subhash Demakkanavar, KPCC secretary Rajashekhar Mensinkai, B M Hansi, B K Mahesh and Prakash Angadi. Apart from them, Zilla Panchayat vice-president Shivanad Karigar was brought to the party by Mines and Geology Minister Vinay Kulkarni assuring him of Navalgund ticket amidst resistance in the party.

Many of these leaders are largely disappointed over the party favouring Asuti. Having inkling of not getting ticket, Karigar has already declared to fight as an independent candidate. Now, Prakash Angadi is also treading the path of revolt. Others may not dare to do so, but their active involvement in party functioning during the elections cannot been taken as granted.

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