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Karnataka Poll
Cong tries to placate sulking Krishna
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Mangalore, April 25
Senior Congress leader and Defence Minister A K Antony, Congress leaders Ambika Soni and Madhusudan Mistry, the latter an AICC general secretary who looks after party affairs in Karnataka, yesterday visited former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in his Bangalore residence in what is believed to be an attempt by the Central leaders to placate the sulking Karnataka leader.

Krishna, being seen to have been ignored in the candidate selection process for the May 5 Assembly elections in Karnataka, skipped the manifesto-release event of the party in Bangalore yesterday for which Antony, Soni and Mistry had come down to the city.

“He (Krishna) was campaigning in the Hebbal area of the Bangalore. That is why he could not be present at the manifesto release function”, a member of Krishna’s staff told this reporter.

Krishna was conspicuous by his absence at the manifesto release function where all the four Central ministers from the state, including Veerappa Moily and senior leaders such as Oscar Fernandez, were present.

After intense speculation about his participation in canvassing, Krishna, who was Chief Minister during the 1999-2004 period, began campaigning in Bangalore from Sunday.

However, the former CM, who belongs to the Vokkaliga community, is yet to address any poll meeting in his home district Mandya, a Vokkaliga bastion.

There he is at loggerheads with actor-politician M H Ambareesh, who is calling the shots in Mandya. The Congress district president of Mandya M S Atmananda has also quit his post in protest against the party denying him a ticket for the Mandya Assembly constituency and giving it to Ambareesh.

In the neighbouring Srirangapatna segment, the Congress, bowing to pressure from Ambareesh, replaced Ravindra Srikantaiah, who had already been named for the seat, with Ambareesh’s protege S L Lingaraju.

Srikantaiah, a favourite of Krishna, continues to be in the fray as an independent, spelling potential trouble for the Congress candidate’s prospects.





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