Lingayat leader declines Congress candidature

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 29, 2019 Published on March 29, 2019

Shamanur Shivashankarappa   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR

The ruling Janata Dal Secular (JDS)-Congress coalition in Karnataka received a jolt as its candidate for the Davangere Lok Sabha constituency, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, declined to contest.

As the 87-year-old Congress leader rejected the offer, the party is on a frantic search for a suitable candidate.

Shivashankarappa, who is the President of the Akhila Bharata Verrashaiva Lingayat Mahasabha, had vehemently opposed splitting the Lingayat community. He also had opposed the previous Congress government’s decision to accord separate religious status to the community that practises the teachings of the 14th Century philosopher Basavanna. Before candidate selection, the name of Shivashankarappa’s son, SS Mallikarjun, was doing the rounds for the Davangere constituency. But considering Shivashankarappa’s stature and the influence he wields in the region, the party chose him.

The party is now reconsidering Mallikarjun and is also looking at HB Manjappa, district president of the KPCC and former a zilla panchayat member, and Tejaswi Patel, a zilla panchayat member and nephew of former Chief Minister JH Patel.

The BJP has fielded GM Siddeshwara as its candidate. The Congress has to take a decision in a couple of days as the last date for filing of nomination papers is April 4.

Published on March 29, 2019
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