Bengaluru, April 20: If reports are to be believed, controversial Congress leader NA Haris is likely to be fielded as the party candidate from the high-profile Shantinagar constituency in Bengaluru for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections.
Haris is a two-time Congress MLA from the constituency. However, the party took its own sweet time to decide on whether to field the politician from his home turf once again following the scandalous incident of his son being involved in a pub brawl earlier this year.
Now, the Congress told reporters that they are confident of Haris' win once again this time from Shantinagar and there is no need to punish him for his "son's sins".
"All surveys conducted by us predict Haris' win. He is still popular in the constituency. The BJP which is talking against corruption has fielded five candidates who went to jail during its last regime. In Haris' case, the MLA is innocent. He is facing no cases. The government has taken the strictest possible action against the son. He is in jail. We can't punish the father for his son's sins," a senior Congress leader was quoted as saying by News18.
Earlier, a lot of Congress leaders opposed the idea of giving a ticket to Haris, after his son Mohammed Nalapad Haris was named as the main accused in the sensational pub attack case in Bengaluru. Junior Haris was booked for attempt to murder for allegedly assaulting a man in a pub in February this year.
Till now, the Congress has announced the names of 218 candidates for the upcoming 224-member Assembly elections in Karnataka. Soon the party will announce the names of five more candidates, which is likely to have Haris' name too. The Congress has decided not to field any candidate from the Melkote constituency from where Swaraj Abhiyan leader Darshan Puttannaiah is contesting the elections. Darshan is the son of the farmer leader and sitting MLA KS Puttannaiah who died in February this year.
There were reports that Haris threatened to quit the Congress and join the Janata Dal (Secular) after his name did not feature in the Congress' candidate list.
However, there is a lot of resentment among the people of Shantinagar against Haris for lack of infrastructural development and rising crime rate in the constituency during his regime. The interesting part about the constituency is that along with housing some of poshest localities in Bengaluru, it has seven slum areas too. The Assembly elections in Karnataka will take place on May 12. The results will be declared on May 15.