KOLAR: For the first time in his long political career, senior Congress leader and former Union minister KH Muniyappa is running into opposition from within his own party. A group of MLAs from Kolar district, led by Speaker Ramesh Kumar, is asking the party high command not to field the seven-term MP, while another group of legislators from Congress and JD(S), led by Deputy Speaker J Krishna Reddy, is demanding the Congress ticket for the senior parliamentarian. Both groups are camping in Delhi.
The differences among senior leaders have not reached high command. However, sources told TNIE that the high command has decided to douse the opposition in Delhi itself, and in the next two days, pave the way for Muniyappa to enter the fray for the eighth time.
According to sources, a team of legislators, including Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar, S N Narayanaswamy (Bangarpet), V Muniyappa (Sidlaghatta), Nagesh (Mulbagal) and Independent candidate who won with Congress support, MLC Nazeer and former MLA Kothur Manjunath met a few leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik. They are likely to meet state in-charge K C Venugopal late on Friday night, explain the situation and appeal for a replacement for K H Muniyappa.
They reportedly told the high command that Kolar parliamentary segment, which consists of eight assembly segments, is a Congress fortress, and leader of the opposition Mallikarjuna Kharge would be a better alternative to Mahadevappa.
The pro team
The other group, comprising Deputy Assembly Speaker J Krishna Reddy, KGF MLA and Muniyappa’s daughter Roopakala Shashidhar, Malur MLA K Y Nanje Gowda, former minister Nissar Ahmed, senior Congress leaders Bise Gowda, Ram Prasad and Anand Reddy met Venugopal in the morning and said that Muniyappa is the only candidate who can win from Kolar.
A senior Congress leader, who is camping in New Delhi, told TNIE that there were differences among the leaders for almost a year but no one had thought that the issue would reach the high command.
District Congress president Chandra Reddy, who was in New Delhi, said he does not identify with either of the groups, and returned to Kolar.