Congress may win 15 seats across Karnataka: Minister KH Muniyappa

Muniyappa added that the high command wanted him to contest, but state leaders didn’t okay his nominee.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister KH Muniyappa
Food and Civil Supplies Minister KH Muniyappa(File photo)

Food and Civil Supplies Minister KH Muniyappa’s demand to give Congress Lok Sabha ticket to his son-in-law Chikkapeddanna was not honoured by the party central leadership. But many leaders from within the party had threatened to quit if the ticket was given to Chikkapeddanna. Muniyappa, who had won the Kolar Lok Sabha constituency seven consecutive terms, lost the polls in 2019. It is said that many leaders from within the party had worked against him. Muniyappa spoke to The New Indian Express.


Why was your nominee not given a Congress ticket from Kolar? 

The high command had instructed the state leadership to give the Kolar constituency ticket to me. But when I sought the ticket to my nominee, it was not given. Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, General Secretary (organising) Venugopal and General Secretary in charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala had clearly said the ticket would be given to me.

But because of opposition from some people, who have switched parties, they did not give the ticket. The state leadership too could not prevail upon them. These are the same people who sided with BJP to defeat me in 2019. People are watching all this. I have swallowed all the pain and discomfort, and yet as elections are approaching, I am not keeping all these issues before me. For me, the party is important and denying one ticket is not the end of the world. I am anyway proceeding with campaigning. I was recently at Chikkballapur where Congress candidate Raksha Ramaiah filed his nomination. As a party we need to win and come to power first and other smaller issues can be resolved later. 

Will Congress win both Kolar and Chikkballapur constituencies?

It is too early to say who will win. I will visit the constituencies and will know if we can win in about 4-5 days.

Will Dalit voters go with Congress?

Dalits used to support Congress completely in the early years of freedom struggle. My father was a freedom fighter. Today, that vote is not so homogenous. There are different pulls and pressures, but still the Dalits largely support Congress. 

You are from Dalit left while the AICC president belongs to Dalit right?

There is a Dalit left and right. The Dalits along with the Scheduled Tribes are nearly 25 per cent. It consists of Lambanis, Bhovis, Koramas and Korachas. There have been complaints that the resources are not being shared equitably as some communities were cornering all the resources. It needs to be taken up and resolved. But Dalits overall need to be united. 

What about Chitradurga ?

(Pointing to former minister H Anjaneya), ask Anjaneya. (Anjaneya says BJP leaders are reaching out voters door to door)

How well will Congress fare across the state?

We should do well because of the guarantees. About 4.5 crore people have benefitted from them and we should win about 15 seats across the state. So many lives have been touched and changed because of the guarantees which is nothing but empowerment.

Is JDs going with the BJP a disadvantage for Congress?

I think it is a disadvantage because these two parties have come together. JDS was neutral and if they are neutral it is no problem but when they align with each other it is a stronger opposition.  

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