Karnataka: Veerashaiva- Lingayat community demands 60 Congress tickets

Karnataka: Veerashaiva- Lingayat community demands 60 Congress tickets

Several community leaders in Karnataka have approached the Congress demanding higher representation in the state assembly elections as the party’s central election committee will meet on March 17 to decide on its candidates’ list, people close to developments said on Thursday.

The All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, led by its chairman and Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in New Delhi, and demanded that 52 to 60 seats be given to the Veerashaiva Lingayat community. (HT Photo)

On Wednesday evening, the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, led by its chairman and Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in New Delhi.

The delegation demanded that 52 to 60 seats be given to the Veerashaiva Lingayat community.

“We met Mr Kharge, and it was a good meeting. We have asked for 52 to 60 seats for him. He said that our request is right and he will do his best to get us as many seats to the community,” Shivashankarappa told reporters.

He also added that the community demanded two seats for Lingayats in Bengaluru as well. “We have not specified any sub-castes. We have made demands for the entire community,” he added.

The Congress is likely to release its list of more than 120 candidates between March 17-20, the above-cited people said.

During the 2018 assembly polls, Congress had given around 42 seats for the community, out of which 18 won. “There was a time in the 1950s, we had 90 MLAs from the community. So, the demand we have put forth now is less in comparison,” he said.

Earlier, the Congress Lingayat leaders had met screening

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committee chairman Mohan Prakash and made similar demands.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders in the Congress have demanded at least one assembly ticket in each parliamentary constituency in the state.

“The leaders of the Muslim community have also given a list of 21 names of candidates to the party for consideration,” said a leader in the know of the development.

In February, in what looked like an indication that most of the sitting Congress MLAs may get the ticket to contest the upcoming assembly polls, the party’s state president D K Shivakumar said all of them have worked amidst people and “have done a good job”.

“By and large, all of them have done a good job. All our MLAs have worked. Despite being in opposition and non-cooperation from the BJP government, all of them have worked being amidst the people,” Shivakumar said in response to a question about whether tickets are certain for all sitting MLAs. The Congress currently has 69 MLAs in the Karnataka legislative assembly.

According to Congress leaders, 120 names have been finalised unanimously, and in 50-60 seats, there is stiff competition. In the remaining seats, there are more than two candidates, and the party might decide on them later, the leaders said.

The Congress has set a target of winning at least 150 seats in the 224-member assembly to regain power in Karnataka, with a clear majority. While JD(S) has already announced the first list of 93 candidates for assembly polls, BJP and Congress are yet to announce their list.

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Sagar Biswas

Sagar Biswas

A full-time blogger who shares his point of view on a different social issue that needs to be addressed, He completed his bachelor's degree in commerce stream and likes to make the podcast

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