Several Congress workers vandalised party offices across Karnataka on Monday, disgruntled with the party’s choice of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections. Violent protests were reported from at least a dozen constituencies including Mandya, Mangaluru, Bengaluru Rural and Chikmagalur. Some leaders also threatened to resign from the party, The Times of India reported.
In Mandya, supporters of Congress leader Ravikumar broke chairs and doors at the party’s local office as the sitting legislator Ambareesh was preferred over him for the constituency, News18 reported.
Supporters of party leader Anjana Murthy protested in Bengaluru after he was denied a ticket from the Nelamangala constituency, ANI reported. They burned tyres and shouted slogans against party President Rahul Gandhi on a highway near Nelamangala.
In Hangal, supporters of legislator Manohar Tahsildhar staged a protest as he did not get a ticket.
Congress leader and former legislator Prasannakumar is likely to join the Janata Dal (Secular) and the party’s state Vice President VR Sudarshan may join the Bharatiya Janata Party after they were denied tickets, according to News18.
Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa put up a post on social media, expressing his disappointment at not being given a ticket. He accused the party’s candidate from Madikeri, HS Chandramouli, of running a campaign against him.
“I will swallow the ignominy of being ousted from the race by a person who joined the party in 2016, got a Legislative Council ticket the same year, lost and the same person now bags the Assembly ticket for Madikeri,” Kalappa said. “I will try for gram panchayat next time. Someone in my party is clearly telling me to seek nomination for a constituency befitting my status.”
Jagalur MLA HP Rajesh went to Bengaluru late Sunday to meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as his name was not on the list, The Times of India reported. Supporters of five-time MLA DB Inamdar were angry because the party has not announced its candidate from the Kittur constituency.
Senior leader P Ramesh called the party “Tughlaq Congress” and said he would contest the election from CV Raman Nagar in Bengaluru as a JD(S) candidate as Siddaramaiah had told him he would not get a ticket.
The party, meanwhile, said these protests would settle down. “These things do happen,” state Congress President D Gundu Rao told News18. “Within the next few days, you will see the issues settling down. Congress is a huge family, and we can always accommodate them in other positions. The party will look after you, take care of you.”
On Sunday, the Congress announced a list of 218 candidates for the Assembly elections due in Karnataka on May 12. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will contest from Chamundeshwari while his son Yatheendra will be party’s candidate from Varuna. Both the seats are in Mysuru district. The party will announce candidates for five seats later and will support an ally in one seat. The state has 224 Assembly constituencies.