Being 'Unwanted' Haris: How Son’s Crime May Eclipse Bengaluru MLA’s Political Career
Shanthinagara MLA Haris, who has cultivated contacts in New Delhi, never bothered to have a good relationship with his partymen in Bengaluru. This mistake may cost him his MLA post this time.
File photo: Shanthinagara MLA NA Haris during the inauguration of a sub-main pipeline at Neelasandra LR Nagar bridge. (Photo: Facebook)
Bengaluru: A day after Karnataka High Court rejected his son’s bail plea, controversial Congress MLA N A Haris arrived at the house of a fellow MLA. Haris' visit was quite unexpected as he had never visited the leader after becoming the MLA in 2008.
A visibly shaken Haris sought the help of the leader to get party’s re-nomination from his seat, Shanthinagara, for the third consecutive term.
According to a family member of the leader, Haris said, “I really don’t know what to do? No one is with me now. I need support.” But no one in the party is willing to back him after the infamous pub brawl and jailing of Mohammad Nalapad.
It is no secret that Nalapad Ahmed Haris, one time feared and powerful MLA, is disliked by many in his own party. His son Mohammad Nalapad’s brutal attack on a reveller at a high end pub in Bengaluru and his subsequent jailing have come as a boon to his detractors in Congress.
A fellow Congress MLA from Bengaluru said, “Haris is an arrogant man. He thinks too much of himself. We had warned him about his son. He did not care. He is now paying the price for that. He has dented the image of Congress and if he is given a ticket, it might work against all of us. Why should we lose our seats because of the father-son duo?”
And he is echoing the sentiments of most Congress MLAs in Bengaluru. They fear that Haris can be their Achilles heel if he is fielded again.
A youth Congress leader, Haris, became MLA in 2008 from Shanthinagara -- a Muslim, Christian and Dalit dominated seat in eastern part of the city. He won a second consecutive term in 2013. Haris, who has cultivated contacts in New Delhi, never bothered to have a good relationship with his partymen in Bengaluru. This mistake may cost him his MLA post this time.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is reportedly angry with him for damaging the chances of Congress in the state capital and is not in a mood to field him again.
A senior official at the chief minister’s office said, “The CM is extremely unhappy with Haris. In fact, he is the one who ordered Bengaluru City Police Commissioner to book Mohammad Nalapad under attempt to murder sections and told the police to oppose his bail. If CM has his way, Haris will not get the ticket this time.”
The business tycoon cum MLA, Haris, is now making the rounds of party leaders’ homes pleading leniency. But none of them are impressed by him.
Internationally acclaimed writer and historian Ramachandra Guha has already asked the Congress president Rahul Gandhi not to field Haris again from Shanthinagara. Guha is a long-time resident and voter in that constituency. He said that people did not want someone like Haris to represent them as MLA.
The civil society is also up in the arms against Haris whom they call a big nuisance. The BJP has launched a ‘Save Bengaluru’ campaign against his son’s alleged atrocities in the constituency.
Retired IAS officer Renuka Vishwanathan has taken a plunge into politics vowing to end the “goondaraj” of Haris and his followers. She is contesting on AAP ticket from Shanthinagara and has already started the campaign.
A retired IPS officer, BNS Reddy, has recently joined the BJP eyeing party ticket from Shanthinagara. Speaking to media, he said, “Haris’ son is a big mafia don like Kothwal Ramachandra and Jairaj of 1970s and 80s Bengaluru. Mohammad Nalapad’s criminal activities had the blessings of Haris. He should be defeated this time if he gets Congress ticket.”
State Congress president Dr G Parameshwara has said that names of all 123 sitting MLAs of Congress will be sent to the party high command seeking their re-nomination. He said, “Party high command will decide. We will go by that.”
Haris has declined to comment on the political developments saying that he has faith in party leadership and its sense of justice.
Haris, the son of a migrant buttermilk seller, has come a long way. Till last month everything was working in his favour. Now the same world is falling apart. And nobody is shedding tears for him.
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