BENGALURU: After a prolonged delay, the results of the Karnataka Youth Congress election were declared on Thursday with The Foundation of Advanced Management of Elections (FAME)- an agency commissioned by AICC to oversee Indian Youth Congress (IYC) elections -announcing Raksha Ramaiah as the president. Mohammed Nalapad, who polled the highest valid votes was disqualified by the agency. The results have left one section of leaders in the state unit of Karnataka beaming while others are miffed. Both Raksha Ramaiah and Mohammed Nalapad have filed appeals with the IYC over the results- the former seeking a recount of votes while the latter has challenged his disqualification.
Despite the elections being a heavily-lobbied one with leaders throwing their weight behind candidates for their choice, all involved parties maintained that the elections were independent of any leader. The divide in the State unit leadership, however, became apparent when Legislature Party Chief Siddaramaiah took to his social media pages to congratulate Raksha Ramaiah — candidate he had endorsed — for his new post while KPCC President DK Shivakumar — who backed Nalapad in the elections — maintained a stoic silence.
“Nalapad was allowed to contest on the condition that he could be disqualified as the election body deems fit. It was not out of the blue,” said a leader of the party while another questioned the logic behind allowing Nalapad to contest in the first place if the disqualification was imminent. “He polled the most number of votes. The cadre that voted for him is made to feel like fools,” said the leader.
Meanwhile, the results have set off a series of reactions in the State Congress. Although Siddaramaiah and his faction seemed to have won the IYC polls with Raksha’s victory, Nalapad’s disqualification is being viewed by many as a conspiracy against D K Shivakumar resulting in animosity against the former Chief Minister, especially from the Muslim and Vokkaliga cadres of the party.
Raksha Ramaiah- son of former minister MR Seetharam- polled 57,271 valid votes and was declared as president of Karnataka Youth Congress by the election body while NSUI President H S Manjunath — who was staunchly backed by G Parameshwara through MLC BK Hariprasad and MP GC Chandrashekhar — with 18,137 valid polls was declared vice-president. Mohammed Nalapad—who polled the highest valid votes with 64,203— was disqualified by the election body that cited criminal cases and an earlier expulsion from the party as the reason. With a window for appeal still open, neither the Indian Youth Congress nor the AICC has issued the official notification of the poll results.