Both BJP and Congress face rebel trouble

Trouble from rebels has erupted for both the ruling Congress and Opposition BJP in Karnataka even as the parties are busy finalizing candidates for the rest of the seats.

In Koppal, local BJP MP Sanganna Karadi is planning to contest as an independent, rebelling against the party’s decision not to field him this time. He has called a meeting of his supporters on Thursday where he will announce his decision.

The party has named Basavaraj Kyavatoor in his place. Karadi joins the likes of senior leaders KS Eshwarappa in Shivamogga and DV Sadananda Gowda in Bengaluru.

Eshwarappa, a senior OBC leader, has announced he will contest as an independent against the party candidate BY Raghavendra in Shivamogga to avenge denial of the party ticket to his son KE Kantesh. In Bengaluru, MP Sadananda Gowda is upset that the BJP has denied him re-nomination and is said to be exploring options. He is expected to announce his next move in a day or two.

In Tumakuru and Belagavi, signs of resistance are visible within the BJP. In Tumakuru, former minister JC Madhuswamy, an aspirant for the ticket, has refused to back the party’s official candidate V Somanna. Sections of partymen believe the party could have fielded a local leader instead of Somanna, an ‘outsider’ as he lives in Bengaluru.

In Belagavi, a BJP MLA is leading the resistance to former CM Jagadish Shettar contesting as party candidate. Shettar, a leader from Dharwad, had joined the Congress ahead of the assembly polls, lost the election and returned to the BJP recently. In Belagavi, sections of local partymen see him as an outsider.

In Bagalkot, large crowds of supporters of former zilla panchayat president Veena Kashappanavar, wife of Congress MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar, stormed the local party office demanding a ticket for their leader. They were upset over reports that the party had cleared the name of Samyuktha Patil, daughter of the agriculture marketing & sugar minister Shivanand Patil.

Kashappanavar’s followers have sought to block Patil’s nomination on the grounds that she came from the neighbouring Vijayapura district, while their leader was a local resident.

Harry Byrne

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