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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 | Rahul Gandhi to Decide Whether Kin of Senior Party Leaders, Including CM Siddaramaiah's Son, Will Get Tickets

The KPCC candidates list, accessed by News18, has the names of chief minister Siddaramaiah's son Dr Yatheendra, Home Minister R Ramalinga Reddy's daughter Soumya Reddy, Seven-time Kolar MP and former Union Minister KH Muniyappa's daughter Roopa, late Congress stalwart B Shankarananda’s son-in-law Sindhe Bhimsen Rao, party veteran Margaret Alva's son Nivedith Alva and a few others.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:March 28, 2018, 11:39 AM IST
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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 | Rahul Gandhi to Decide Whether Kin of Senior Party Leaders, Including CM Siddaramaiah's Son, Will Get Tickets
Congress President Rahul Gandhi at the plenary session. (Twitter/INCIndia)
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Bengaluru: After a section of the party leaders opposed the move to hand out tickets to the kith and kin of ministers and top leaders, the Congress has now put the ball in party president Rahul Gandhi's court.

The KPCC candidates list, accessed by News18, has the names of chief minister Siddaramaiah's son Dr Yatheendra, Home Minister R Ramalinga Reddy's daughter Soumya Reddy, Seven-time Kolar MP and former Union Minister KH Muniyappa's daughter Roopa, late Congress stalwart B Shankarananda’s son-in-law Sindhe Bhimsen Rao, party veteran Margaret Alva's son Nivedith Alva and a few others.

The list will be sent to Rahul Gandhi in a day or two for approval, claim party sources. At least 15 ministers and other top leaders have been lobbying for tickets to be given to their children or close relatives.

Many long-time party workers have openly opposed the move, terming it as the "height of nepotism", which could go against the party.

It even led to acrimonious scenes at a state Congress screening committee meeting last week. Former chief minister M Veerappa Moily had attacked PWD minister Dr HC Mahadevappa for opposing his son Harsha Moily's candidature from Karkala in Udupi district.

After a Twitter fiasco, Moily decided to withdraw his son's name. However, Harsha claims it was a voluntary decision and had nothing to do with the controversy.

For Siddaramaiah's assembly seat Varuna in Mysore district, the CM’s son is being pushed. The CM has decided to contest from his old seat, Chamundeshwari, to ensure that his son has an easy way in.

In a similar move, Ramalinga Reddy has sought a ticket for his daughter from Jayanagar in south Bengaluru. Before delimitation, it was his seat. In 2008, Ramalinga moved to neighbouring BTM Layout.

KH Muniyappa's daughter is eyeing the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) reserved seat. Muniyappa is a "left" Dalit, who constitute for more than 70 percent of the SCs in Karnataka.

Margaret Alva's youngest son Nivedith Alva is looking at the Sirsi seat in Uttara Kannada district. The former governor of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand has previously been miffed with the party for not giving her son a ticket in the 2008 Assembly elections and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Another top minister TB Jayachandra has asked the party to field his son Santhosh from Chikkanayakanahalli in Tumkur district but KPCC president Dr G Parameshwara, who is also from the same place, is said to be against his candidature.

Defending the nepotistic move, Siddaramaiah said that there was nothing wrong in seeking tickets for the children. “Winnability is the main criteria. Ultimately, the high command will take the final call,” he said.

PWD minister Mahadevappa is also lobbying for a seat for his son Suneel Bose. His attempts to shift to a seat in Bengaluru city, giving up current T Narasipura seat for his son, seems to have failed after state leaders opposed it tooth-and-nail.

All of this, as planning minister and business tycoon MR Seetharam's son and state youth Congress leader Raksha Ram has backed out from contesting the election after being offered a ticket from Malleshwaram in Bengaluru.

A similar story is also true for the BJP and JD(S) as well.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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