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Cong primaries bring state chief, CM at loggerheads

The CM is backing the candidature of the former MP and a recent entrant to the Congress, C Narayanaswamy, to win the primaries where his nomination has been accepted.

Bangalore |
March 10, 2014 4:22:37 am

The Congress primaries being held to pick a party candidate for the Bangalore North constituency is turning into a mini battle between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress state president Dr G Parameshwar, according to Congress insiders.

The CM and the Congress president have been seemingly at loggerheads in the recent weeks with the state Congress chief expressing unhappiness over the government not catering to the needs of Dalits and minority communities.

The primaries have now opened up a new front in a gradually growing stand-off between the CM and the Congress president, sources said. The CM is backing the candidature of the former MP and a recent entrant to the Congress, C Narayanaswamy, to win the primaries where his nomination has been accepted. The state Congress president, however, is backing his secretary G C Chandrashekhar.

“It is battle between the original Congress and the new Congress,’’ sources in the party said in a reference to the fact that C Narayanaswamy, like Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, are recent entrants to the Congress party from the Janata Dal Secular while Chandrashekhar and the state president are among a group that are long standing in the Congress. “Narayanaswamy has the backing of some of the senior leaders, Chandrashekhar is being backed by the state president,’’ Congress sources said.

The fracture lines in the Congress party in Karnataka on the lines of the original members versus the new has been in existence ever since Siddaramaiah, who joined the Congress in 2007, was chosen to be the CM over old Congress hands.

The fault lines were accentuated after Siddaramaiah chose several people who had left the JDS with him to be members of the state cabinet. Though the differences between the old and the new in the party is not very pronounced at present, but is likely to come to the fore after Parliament polls, especially if the Congress performs poorly.

The primaries are set to be held on March 13 for the Bangalore North constituency and a total of 476 voters have been shortlisted to vote for four aspirants whose nominations have been accepted by the returning officers for the polls.

Former MLA from Mahalaxmi Layout N L Narendra Babu and IIM Bangalore professor M V Rajeev Gowda  are in the fray along with the secretary to the state Congress president G C Chandrashekhar and former JDS MP of Bangalore North C Narayanaswamy.

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