A day after the Congress announced its candidates for 218 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka, resentment began brewing on Monday with several aspirants, who have been denied ticket, and their supporters resorting to protests. Some protesters even ransacked party offices, blocked roads, and staged mock funerals and dharnas.
In Bengaluru, supporters of aspirants Manjula Naidu and Girisk K.N., who were vying for ticket from Rajajinagar and Mahalakshmi Layout, staged a dharna in front of the Congress office. Ms. Naidu, who said she resigned as office-bearer, said she was under pressure from her followers to contest as rebel candidate.
Similarly, aspirants V.R. Sudarshan (Kolar) and N. Sampangi (Bagepalli) said they would take a decision in the next two days after consultations with their followers.
In Mandya, supporters of aspirant Ravikumar vandalised the district Congress office opposing the candidature of former Minister M.H. Ambareesh for Mandya Assembly constituency. Angry supporters of Gayatri Shante Gowda, former MLC, ransacked the Congress office in Chikkamagaluru as she was denied party ticket and instead former Chairman of the Legislative Council B.L. Shankar was chosen.
Protest against Moily
In Udupi, hundreds of supporters of Congress aspirant Muniyal Udaykumar Shetty took to the streets protesting against the party giving ticket to H. Gopal Bhandary, former MLA, in Karkala. Shouting slogans saying ‘Moily Hatao, Congress Bachao’, the protesters blocked roads and staged a mock funeral of former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily. Another aspirant N. Sampangi from Bagepalli in Chickballapur district, who contested and lost in 2013, also blamed Mr. Moily for him missing the bus.
In North Karnataka, while supporters of H.P. Rajesh, Jagalur MLA; B.M. Nagaraj, Siraguppa MLA; and Manohar Tahsildar, Hanagal MLA, took to the streets in their respective constituencies, there were protests in Bailhongal, Navalgund, Gulbarga South, Bidar and Siraguppa too.
In Byadgi, however, where Basavaraj Shivannavar, MLA, has been denied Congress ticket, a meeting of his supporters was held after which Mr. Shivannavar said he would meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the issue.
While Mr. Rajesh’s supporters formed a human chain in Jagalur and raised slogans against the party high command, Mr. Tahsildar’s supporters blocked road in Hanagal. Siraguppa too witnessed similar protests over denial of ticket to Mr. Nagaraj.