Dissidence is at an all-time high within the Congress party a day after it released the names of candidates for 218 out of 224 assembly seats in Karnataka.
Supporters of sitting MLAs who were refused a ticket and others took to the streets, even burning effigies of Siddaramaiah.
Supporters of Congress aspirants Uday Kumar Shetty, N Sampangi from coastal Karnataka who had missed tickets blocked roads and staged mock funerals of Veerappa Moily holding him responsible for the ticket denial.
Similar demonstrations were held in Chikmagaluru by supporters of Gayathri Shanthe Gowda.
Anjanamurthy’s supporters in Nelamangala also took to the streets over their leader’s omission. Instances of party offices being vandalized by supporters of failed ticket aspirants have also been reported.
The most unexpected note of discontent came from CM Siddaramaiah’s legal advisor and party spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa. He was part of the legal team that represented the state in the closely watched Cauvery dispute case and is known to be someone who the party trusts for damage control.
In a Facebook post on Monday, the senior advocate expressed his disappointment over missing out on a party ticket, not just this time but multiple times in past. He has questioned why a party loyalist like him has been denied a ticket and a new comer has been preferred.
Madikeri a seat which has been won by BJP’s Appachu Ranjan during the last two elections has been given to former state public prosecutor HS Chandramouli who is incidentally representing Mehul Choksi, uncle of PNB scam accused Nirav Modi.
Kalappa also questioned how former party MP Jayaprakash Hegde was denied an MLC ticket after he lost out in a Lok Sabha battle while Chandramouli was allowed to contest this time even though he had lost an MLC election.
Supporters of ten sitting MLAs who were refused tickets are also rebelling against the party. This dissent, however, is something the congress had expected.
Supporters of Tipaturu (Tumakuru), Byadagi MLA Basavaraj Shivanna, MLA K Shadakshari, BM Nagaraj from Siruguppa (Ballari), Anjanamurthy, ticket aspirant from Nelamangala took part in demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction.
The state Congress has formed four teams to check fault lines among partymen and pacify those who missed out.
“Congress should come back to power. For that, winnability is the only thing we kept in mind. We do not want to hurt people but when four people compete for one seat we can give only to one. People may feel hurt that they have to wait another five years. But we can go forward only after taking them into confidence,” KPCC chief G Parameshwara told reporters.
Interestingly, both CM Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief G Parameshwara has backed Shanti Nagar MLA NA Haris to get a ticket despite his son’s involvement in an assault case.
The second list for five seats is set to come out anytime in the next 24 hours.