Congress announced the Candidate list for Karnataka for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and it has no names of Christian candidates in it.
Media reported that the minority community, which constitutes about 3 to 4 per cent of the state's total population of over 6.18 crore, is considered to be a strong supporter of the Congress. Christians used to get at least one ticket for the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state from the Congress every election.
When asked about the issue, KPCC president G Parameshwara said, "The party high command had a few names in mind, but dropped the idea at the last minute. But that does not mean that the Congress has let down the minority group. We will accommodate their representatives in different forums," he said.
Looking at the history, Oscar Fernandes contested in the 1980 Lok Sabha elections and he managed to retain that seat for the next four polls. In 1998, the party gave tickets to Fernandes and Margaret Alva, but they both lost.
Following that, Alva won her seat in 1998, but lost in 2004. In the 2009 elections, the Congress had fielded H T Sangliana from Bangalore Central and Alva from Uttara Kannada. However, both of them were defeated.
The failure of the Congress high command in fielding a Christian for the elections has evoked criticism from the community.
Nivedith Alva, son of Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva, who had made a strong bid for a party ticket from Uttara Kannada district, said though he was upset he hadn't been given a party ticket, he would work to ensure the victory of party's candidate.