The efforts of BJP ministers V Somanna, CP Yogeshwar and Anand Asnotikar to return to the Congress ahead of the forthcoming assembly elections has run into rough weather with strong resistance mounting within the Congress against the trio.
Congress leaders and workers in various parts of the state have expressed their opposition to admitting those who had defected from the Congress during the ‘Operation Lotus’ launched by the BJP with baits of power and other inducements. Somanna, Yogeshwar and Asnotikar had quit the Congress and joined the BJP to get ministerial berths in the BJP government.
According to Congress sources, apart from these three, labour minister BN Bache Gowda and over 10 BJP MLAs too are knocking at the doors of the Congress anticipating a big defeat for BJP in the next assembly elections.
KPCC president G Parameshwar has been flooded with appeals from party leaders and workers to shun all those who betrayed the party by embracing ‘Operation Lotus’. Sensing the mood, Parameshwar has assured that the state leadership would not recommend induction of any ‘traitors’ into the party and the party high command would take the decision as to who could be admitted and who should be shunned.
Parameshwar has also assured that the opinion of local Congress leaders and workers would be sought before admitting any leaders from other parties into the Congress.
According to sources, CS Putte Gowda, JD(S) MLA from Shravanabelagola, who has decided to quit his party, is likely to to inducted into the Congress as the party leadership is eager to improve its strength in Hassan district, the political bastion of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.
MLAs face heat
Political ambitions of many BBMP corporators of the Congress could spoil the plans of some of the party MLAs from Bangalore. Corporator of Subhash Nagar ward T Mallesh has emerged as a strong contender for the party ticket from Gandhi Nagar constituency, which is represented by Dinesh Gundu Rao.
Corporator of Pulikeshi Nagar ward AR Zakir is determined to get the ticket to contest from the Pulikeshi Nagar constituency which is now represented by B Prasanna Kumar, while DJ Halli corporator R Sampath Raj is eyeing Sarvagna Nagar constituency represented by KJ George.
“Many corporators have succeeded in getting a resolution passed by the party workers of their respective constituencies expressing support for their candidature. The three corporators recently submitted similar resolutions to make a strong claim for tickets in assembly election to party MPs Dhruv Narayan and Jayaprakash Hegde, who have been appointed as party observers to identify winnable candidates for the party,” said DA Pramod Shankar, vice president of Bangalore District Youth Congress unit.