Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had just stepped out of the Mangaluru airport, for his visit to the district.
But instead of being welcomed at the airport, the CM was thrust in the middle of a tug-of-war.
Two Congress leaders - Ivan D’Souza and Abhayachandra Jain - jostled with each other to welcome the Chief Minister at the airport on his visit to Mangaluru.
Two factions, each led by Congress MLC Ivan D’Souza and Moodbidri MLA Abhayachandra Jain had arrived at the airport holding separate placards, to welcome the CM.
Jain was caught on television jostling with Ivan and blocking his way as the latter made an attempt to approach the Chief Minister. According to Daiiiworld, Jain favours young congress leader Mithun Rai to land the Congress ticket to contest from Moodbidri. Ivan D’Souza is also eyeing an MLA ticket in the elections due in seven months’ time. Jain is the current MLA of Moodbidri.
But the Chief Minister, who was in a hurry, had none of it and made way by pushing both Jain and Rai aside. Eyewitnesses told Daijiworld that the two senior leaders - Jain and D’Souza - were also involved in a heated exchange after the incident.
Moodbidri MLA Abhayachandra Jain (pictured left) and Ivan D'Souza
Karnataka goes to polls in seven months’ time and discord between Congress leaders in Dakshina Kannada is growing as both Mithun Rai and Ivan D’Souza vie for the Congress ticket to contest from Moodbidri.
There are 8 assembly constituencies in Dakshina Kannada district. In the 2013 elections, Congress won seven, restricting the BJP to just one seat in the region.
The Congress in a surprising victory wrested three seats away from the BJP.
Abhayachandra Jain has been elected the MLA of Moodbidri four times and will most likely not contest in 2019. There is speculation that having realized his chances of winning are slim, the senior politician is looking to become a Member of the Legislative Council and ask the Congress to make his nominee contest from the Moodbidri seat.
With Abhayachandra Jain bowing out, the tussle between Ivan D Souza and Mithun Rai is only set to intensify.
Video Courtesy: Daijiworld