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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Veena says she will contest as an Independent if Congress does not drop Samyukta by tomorrow

Veena Kashappanavar, Vice-President of the women’s wing of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, has decided to fight the Lok Sabha polls from Bagalkot as an Independent candidate.

She is the wife of Congress Hungund MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar and daughter-in-law of the former Minister late S.R. Kashappanavar.

She is upset over the party high command’s choice Samyukta Patil, daughter of Minister Shivanand Patil, over her for the parliamentary elections. However, she will finalise her decision on Thursday, as she has some hope that the party will change the candidate by then.

She took the decision after efforts to console her by senior leaders Vinay Kulkarni and R.B. Thimmapur failed.

She told reporters in Bagalkot on Tuesday that she has the support of innumerable supporters who are nudging her to fight as an Independent and to teach a lesson to the Congress for its betrayal.

Ms. Kashappanavar said that she is being treated by the party in an unfair manner as she is a woman.

“I am confident that there will be a change in the candidate. Otherwise, I will resign from my responsibilities in the Congress, including the position of State vice-president of the women’s wing. I will enter the fray, though my husband will continue to be a Congress MLA,” she said.

She said that she will fight the polls alone, without the support of her husband, as her support base is large enough. This is not the first time that the Congress is making wrong choices. It chose Devraj Patil to replace Siddaramaiah in Badami. But it had to yield to pressure by party workers and nominate Bhimsen Chimmanakatti later, she said.

Ms. Kashappanavar expressed her discontent on the day the Congress finalised the name of Samyukta Patil. The Kashappanavar couple, along with Sri Basava Jaya Mrutyunjay Swami, reached New Delhi to meet senior leaders like AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge. On Monday, some followers of Veena Kashappanavar tried to storm the Congress office in Bagalkot to express their displeasure.

Shivanand Patil has clarified that he still believes that the Kashappanavar couple will come around to accept the party’s decision. He said he will speak to them and convince them of the need for them to cooperate in the party’s campaign.

“I do not understand why everyone talks about Samyukta Patil being my daughter. Why does anyone not see that she is a young and successful lawyer and a leader in her own right?,” he said in Vijayapura.

Samyukta Patil’s home constituency of Vijayapura is reserved for Scheduled Castes. It is being represented by BJP’s Ramesh Jigajinagi since the delimitation of 2008.

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