BENGALURU: Congress flags flew sky high in Sumalatha Ambareesh’s rally on Wednesday, much to the displeasure of Congress and JD(S) alike. A day after the alliance partners, with a joint press conference, hoped to build the perception of unity, Congress workers led Sumalatha’s campaign even as she filed nominations to contest as an independent candidate from Mandya Lok Sabha seat. Having had enough of the rebellion against the alliance’s joint candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy, JD(S) has sent out a warning message to the Congress.
“Everybody has the right to support the candidate of their choice but to use party flags, platform or position for an independent candidate who, in fact, is a rebel candidate, is wrong. We urge Congress to take action against such people,” said Tanveer Ahmed, spokesperson of JD(S). The mammoth crowd at Sumalatha’s first rally was an eyesore to JD(S), that is fighting a perception battle in Mandya and Congress workers joining hands with Nikhil’s political rival, only added salt to injury.
“We do not know who was part of the rally, but if any leader is identified, we will initiate action,” said Dinesh Gundu Rao, President, KPCC. Congress, which is busy cajoling local leaders in Mandya and Hassan — both seats that have been conceded to JD(S) — any harsh action, Congress insiders believe, will only make matters worse. Congress is hoping to use goodwill to consolidate support for joint candidate Nikhil instead of using force.
“I wouldn’t hug the person who slaps me. Congress should understand that,” said a JD(S) leader, when asked if the rebellion by the Congress in Mandya would prompt the JD(S) to retaliate in Mysuru. The JD(S) leader indicated that repercussions were bound to occur. The rebellion in Mandya continues to be the biggest headache for Congress and JD(S) alike.