Congress warns rebels of disciplinary action

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Bangalore, Apr 23 (UNI) In an attempt to quell protests by party leaders who were denied tickets to contest the Karnataka Assembly polls next month, the Congress today warned the rebels to relent or face disciplinary action.

KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge told reporters here that the party high command had cleared the nominees list only after carefully reviewing it.

He exhorted the rank and file of the party to rally behind the party and fight the elections unitedly as the Congress had a better chance of returning to power in the State.

Stating that there was no bad blood among the leaders, the KPCC chief said 90 per cent of the names recommended by leaders S M Krishna, Siddaramaiah and himself had been accepted by the party's Central Election Committee. ''There is no misunderstanding and no leader is upset,'' he claimed.

Mr Kharge said it was quite natural that some partymen had expressed anguish over the failure to get party ticket. The Congress had received an unprecedented number of applications for contesting the Assembly elections under the party banner. No party could satisfy all the leadres every time, he added.

It may be recalled that the Congress had to effect several changes from the original list by including some new names, bowing to the pressure exhorted by some leaders and their supporters. The ''sidelined'' leaders and their supporters resorted to agitations across the State.

Congress workers in Mandya district had blocked the Bangalore-Mysore State Highway for hours following denial of party tickets to some of the leaders.

In Chitradurga, they ransacked the DCC office following denial of party ticket to DCC President R Manjunath.

At Shahapur in Gulbarga district, workers burnt a KSRTC bus and stoned other vehicles in protest against denial of ticket to Mr Shivashekharappa Shirwal.

Several Congress leaders protesting against denial of party tickets have either joined the BJP or BSP or were contesting as independent candidates against the official nominees in many of the constituencies.


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