BENGALURU: If the intention of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was to bring young and toiling grassroots party workers up the ranks through elections in the Youth Congress, it has failed. Results of the elections held between May 14-17 show that the kin of ministers, party legislators and senior leaders have emerged victorious in most districts.
The list of newly elected office bearers shows it’s 'son rise' all the way. Raksha Sitaram, son of minister for Science, Planning and Statistics M R Sitaram, has been elected president of the Bengaluru City Youth Congress unit. General secretary of the unit is Mohammed Nalpad, son of MLA NA Haris, and Transport minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya is vice-president. Sons of former ministers Diwakar Babu and MN Nabi head the Ballari city and rural units.
Mrinal Hebbalkar, son of State Mahila Congress president Lakshmi Hebbalkar, is the new vice-president of Belagavi unit while Faizan Sait, son of MLA Feroz Sait, is the president. Manthara Gowda, minister A Manju’s son, will head Hassan unit.
Counting of votes to the election for state office bearers will be held on Saturday. Basanagouda Badarli, nephew of Sindhanur MLA Hampannagouda Badarli, K N Rajendra, son of Madhugiri MLA K N Rajanna and others are in the race for the post of state Youth Congress president.
The results have predictably led to resentment within the party amid allegations of rigging and money power. “One aspirant for the president’s post has spent Rs 6 crore. Rampant irregularities have been committed in many places by the kin of powerful leaders to emerge victorious,” said an angry Youth Congress member.
Initial reports on Wednesday night put total polled votes at 1.05 lakh. But it was revised to 1.41 lakh the next morning.This is causing resentment among the rank and file .“This has fuelled suspicions of large-scale rigging in the polls. Bogus voting was done in party offices in various places overnight. Protests were staged in Bengaluru, Hassan and Shivamogga against this,”a Youth Congress member said.