In yet another telling blow for the Congress, several senior Congress state leaders have sparred with each other on arguments relating to ticket distribution. According to recent news reports, the candidate selection process for the upcoming elections turned bitter for the Congress and led to infighting as massive differences emerged during the Central Election Committee meeting. Senior leaders ended up arguing with each other and the process of deciding upon the names of the candidates for the crucial Karnataka Assembly has now been stranded.
The major contentious point on which the senior leaders ended up arguing was related to objections to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah contesting from two seats, Chamundeshwari and Badami. As per reports, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjuna Kharge and senior leader Veerappa Moily are averse to the idea of Siddarmaiah contesting from two seats in the upcoming elections. They have sounded the apprehension that contesting from two seats will send out a wrong and negative message to the electorate as well as the party cadres. Other issues that led to marked differences among the Karnataka Congress leaders were giving tickets to Anand Singh, Nagendra and Ashok Khenny. Interestingly, these new influential entrants in the Congress have an objectionable background. While Anand Singh and Nagendra are infamous for their alleged involvement in illegal mining, Ashok Khenny is alleged to be involved in the doldrums related to Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Project. Kharge and Moily showed reluctance to give party tickets to these individuals because they felt that this will allow the opposition to launch an offensive against the Congress.
The tussle between the senior leaders kept on heating up and showed no signs of dying down. As a matter of fact, at one point things went so out of control that Mallikarjuna Kharge angrily walked out of the meeting. The meeting had to be therefore postponed to 5 PM. However, even when the meeting started all over again at 5 PM, no resolution appeared in sight and the deadlock within the Congress only deepened further. This time around the leaders were involved in heated arguments as to whether tickets should be given to the rebel JB (S) MLAs who had recently joined the Congress.
It must be kept in mind that the last date to file nominations is 24th April. The Congress has failed to decide even on the basic nominations, including that of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Congress may therefore end up shoddily managing the selection of its candidates and ticket distribution that will ultimately hurt it’s prospects during the elections. This shows that nothing is in order within the Karnataka Congress ranks. It is staring in the face of an embarrassing defeat in background of severe anti-incumbency and public anger. It has become desperate, leading to furious infighting.
This is not the first time that the Karnataka Congress has seemed frustrated and dejected in the run up to the crucial elections. In the past, reports have emerged how the Karnataka Congress leadership has been disillusioned with the Central leadership and also tried to snub president Rahul Gandhi from campaigning during the elections. It seems that nothing is going right for the Congress amid infighting and it might eventually go totally off-course even as election process is just about to start in ten days with filing of nominations.