BENGALURU: The Congress is likely to change its Davanagere Lok Sabha seat candidate after former minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa is said to have asked the party to give the ticket to his son and former minister SS Mallikarjun.
Shamanur (87) was surprised when the party fielded him from Davanagere and not Mallikarjun (51) who had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 LS polls and was expecting a party ticket this time. Shamanur had spoken to the state unit leaders and asked them to give the ticket to any other leader as he may not be in a position to campaign.
Sources said the party state unit leaders have called for a meeting in Bengaluru on Thursday to decide on the candidate. Ticket will be given to any leader suggested by Shamanur and most likely it will be Mallikarjun, sources said.
Thursday’s Congress meet to finalise Davanagere candidate
Sources said the party state unit leaders have called for a meeting in Bengaluru on Thursday to decide on the candidate. Shamanur is also the president of Akhil Bharat Veerashaiva Linagayat Mahasabha, which had strongly opposed the Siddaramaiah government’s decision to accord separate religion status to the Lingayats.By fielding Shamanur or his son Mallikarjun, the Congress hopes to get support from the Lingayats that had backed BJP in 2014.
Former union minister and BJP candidate from Davanagere G M Siddeshwara is also from the same community.According to sources, former minister H M Revanna, who is also keen to contest from the constituency, had even held meetings with Kuruba community leaders in the district. Nomination for the second phase of the LS polls for 14 seats in the state, including Davanagere will start from Thursday.