The Karnataka Congress’s decision to issue a ticket to sitting-MLA of Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru, N Munirathna Naidu, despite charges of corruption and harassment against him, has not gone down to well with party workers. A city corporator belonging to the Congress, Asha Suresh, has now publicly endorsed the JD(S) candidate in the constituency hoping that her own party’s candidate will lose.
Munirathna, himself a former corporator, has been facing open opposition and public admonishment from his party colleagues. In May, 2017, three women corporators, including Asha, had threatened suicide and alleged that Munirathna’s aide sexually assaulted them. The other two corporators were Mamata Vasudev and Manjula Narayanaswamy from the BJP and JD(S) respectively.
After the Congress issued a ticket to Munirathna recently, Asha lashed out and asked her supporters to seek votes instead for JD(S) candidate R Ramachandra. A video of her endorsing Ramachandra has gone viral.
Speaking to TNM, Asha said, “In this constituency, I want the JD (S) candidate to win. I do not know what happens elsewhere. Munirathna has betrayed and tortured me for the last five years. He has put 20 cases against me, my family and aides. I have spoken about this with everyone - the CM, KPCC president.”
When asked if she expects the party to take action against her for her stand, she said. “I am not leaving the Congress. If the party takes action, I will see what to do later.”
Congress spokesperson Aishwarya Manchanahalli said the development was ‘unfortunate’, adding that the leadership has reached out to Asha regarding this in the past and will do so again.
“The party leadership has already reached out to her. During ticket distribution in elections, these kind of instances happen. It is unfortunate that she has made the statement. But the leadership will talk to her as we believe every worker of the Congress party is as important as the CM himself,” she said, “Her grievances will be heard and the issue will be sorted amicably.”
Munirathna, who is also being investigated by the CID in an alleged multi-crore fake bill scam, is no stranger to controversy. In 2010, a minor had died due to a wall collapse in Government Veterinary College on Ballari Road. The wallwas built by a civic contractor company run by him.