Five Cong legislators threaten to quit in Karnataka over ticket allocation issue

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K R Ramesh Kumar K H Muniyappa

K R Ramesh Kumar and K H Muniyappa

Bengaluru: Five Congress legislators on Wednesday threatened to resign over the issue of Lok Sabha ticket to senior party leader and Minister K H Muniyappa's son-in-law Chikka Peddanna to contest from Kolar in the coming Lok Sabha elections, bringing into open the divisions in the outfit.

The party is yet to announce its candidate in the segment.

The five are opposed to Peddanna's candidature, which would give representation for the Left sect of Scheduled Castes.

The three MLAs from Kolar district -- Kothur G Manjunath (Kolar), K Y Nanjegowda (Malur) and MC Sudhakar (Chintamani) -- and two MLCs -- Anil Kumar and Naseer Ahmed (political secretary to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah) -- want the ticket to be given to a candidate from Right sect of Scheduled Castes.

Sudhakar is the Higher Education Minister in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet.

S N Narayanaswamy (Bangarapet), another Congress MLA from the district, too said the ticket should be given to SC Right candidate, and that he will decide on his move, once the party decides on the Kolar ticket.

"This is continuation of a fight between two factions of the Kolar Congress, one led by food and civil supplies minister K H Muniyappa and another by former Karnataka assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, vying for supremacy in the district", a party insider said.

Some even see it as pressure tactics on the part of a section of Congress leaders in Kolar against Muniyappa and his "family politics' '.

The two MLCs met Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti and showed their resignation letters to journalists.

The MLAs were planning to travel to Mangaluru to meet Assembly Speaker U T Khader there, but later cancelled their trip as the latter himself said he is on his way to Bengaluru.

However, the legislators later said they have decided to wait following instructions from Siddaramaiah and the party state President D K Shivakumar on their future course of action.