Bengaluru: A day after Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders spoke of unity and the need for a joint campaign to win the Lok Sabha polls, former CM and Congress Legislature Party(CLP) leader Siddaramaiah faced a major embarrassment after Hassan Congress leaders refused to work for Prajwal Revanna, son of PWD minister H.D. Revanna, who is contesting on the JD(S) ticket from Hassan.
A special meeting of Congress and JD(S) leaders has now been convened on Thursday to resolve all pending issues and Mr Revanna too has been asked to participate in the meeting.
On Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had reportedly directed Mr Siddaramaiah to hold talks with the factions within the party who are reluctant to work wherever the JD(S) has been allotted seats. As per Mr Gandhi’s direction, Mr Siddaramaiah convened a meeting of senior Congress leaders of Hassan at his official residence here to convince them to work jointly with the JD(S).
A shock was in store for the former CM as the majority of leaders flatly refused to work with the JD(S). They contended that JD(S) leaders had backstabbed many Congress candidates in previous Assembly elections, including Mr Siddaramaiah himself. The Congress workers were even intimidated by Mr Revanna and false cases were booked against them, they claimed wondering how state Congress leaders could expect them to work for Prajwal.
The Congress leaders recalled that contractors were harassed by Mr Revanna who had reportedly warned them that unless they joined hands with JD (S) leaders, their bills would not be settled. Mr Mallesh, a Congress leader said Mr Prajwal was not even a gram panchayat or zilla panchayat member and was being fielded directly for the Lok Sabha polls. Their conscience did not permit them to work for a ‘boy’ who wants to become MP without basic knowledge, he said.
The Hassan Congressmen felt the party should have retained the Hassan seat and fielded a candidate. Already, the Congress party has been wiped out in eight districts in the old Mysuru region.