Congress's Kolar conundrum remains unsolved despite CM, DCM attempt to quell dissent

08:45 PM Mar 28, 2024 | PTI |

The Kolar conundrum over giving a ticket to Minister K H Muniyappa’s son-in-law Chikka Peddanna in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections could not be resolved on Thursday though Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar tried to quell the dissent.


The party has not yet declared its candidate from Kolar but speculations were rife that Peddanna may be given the ticket. Upset about it, five Congress legislators including Higher Education Minister M C Sudhakar on Wednesday threatened to resign if Peddanna was given a ticket.

Besides Sudhakar, Kothur MLA G Manjunath, Malur MLA K Y Nanjegowda and MLCs Anil Kumar and Naseer Ahmed threatened to resign.

S N Narayanaswamy (Bangarapet), another Congress MLA from the district, too said the ticket should be given to an ‘SC Right’ candidate, and that he will decide on his move once the party decides on the Kolar ticket.

Siddaramaiah on Thursday convened a meeting at his residence where Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar, Ministers Byrathi Suresh and M C Sudhakar and Legislators Nanjegowda, Anil Kumar and Pradeep Eshwar were also present.


Later Siddaramaiah told reporters that he would talk to all the disgruntled legislators.

When asked whether whatever happened on Wednesday was a drama, he said, “Who says this? It was not a drama. Naturally, one group says something, other says something else. It has not been resolved yet.”

The chief minister was confident that the matter will be resolved.

“We will take a decision after holding a discussion with the leaders in the district,” Siddaramaiah said.

According to Shivakumar, the legislators panicked “imagining that the ticket will be given to Peddanna”. “We have not announced ticket for anyone. We will discuss together. Everyone has to toe the party line. Our priority is discipline in the party,” the DCM said.

When he was told about Muniyappa’s demand that a person from the ‘Scheduled Caste Left’ category should be given priority, Shivakumar said, “We know whom to give the ticket. Muniyappa is our senior leader. We will take into account his advice as well as others.”

Muniyappa, who holds the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs portfolio, remained adamant about getting a ticket for his son-in-law.

“At least 10 relatives of the ministers and MLAs have got a ticket in the state. I too insist (on ticket to Peddanna). I will take a decision based on whatever they say. I will stick to the party high command,” he said.

The minister said winnability as well as family, both are the criteria for seeking a ticket for his son-in-law.

“Giving ticket to family member will be useless if one does not win. One has to win. I have faced many elections. I know how to win it,” Muniyappa said.

Taking a swipe at legislators who have expressed discontent, he said, “No one will ever resign. It is only a drama of resigning. They will stage a drama to threaten those running the government. They are afraid that if K H Muniyappa gets the ticket, he will somehow win the election.”

Minister Sudhakar preferred not to speak on it. “We are keeping quiet respecting the chief minister, deputy chief minister and state Congress president D K Shivakumar and the party high command,” he said.

According to Congress sources, some posters surfaced in Kolar which read ‘Peddanna, Nuvvu Vadanna’, which means in Telugu ‘Peddanna, you are not required’.

They also said this awkward situation was not healthy for the party’s prospects in Kolar from where BJP’s S Muniswamy had won the election last time.


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