Karnataka election 2018: Under fire over ticket to Mehul Choksi lawyer, Congress puts Madikeri seat on hold

Karnataka Assembly election CONGRESS CANDIDATES Tough times for Congress president Rahul Gandhi

Karnataka Assembly election: Congress, which has been facing dissent over tickets distribution for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly Elections, has put Madikeri seat on hold after reports emerged alleging that the candidate HS Chandramouli has served as Mehul Choksi’s lawyer. It has been learnt that Chandramouli was appointed the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) of Karnataka by former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa during his tenure. However, Chandramouli had resigned from his post long time back. His rival is BJP’s candidate Appachu Ranjan.

Choksi is a relative of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and their names are involved in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. Both the high-profile jewellers had left India along with their families before the scam broke. A loan of Rs 5,280 crore extended by a consortium of 31 banks led by ICICI Bank to the companies of absconding billionaire jeweller Mehul Choksi has come under the scanner of the CBI recently.

Supporters of Congress ticket-seekers who failed to make it to the list staged protests across Karnataka today with the stir turning violent at several places. The party woke up to an unexpected and ugly eruption of discontent as the supporters of many ticket aspirants went berserk damaging Congress offices, blocking national highway and staging demonstration outside the office of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in Bengaluru.

Amid differences over the candidates to be chosen, the Congress on Sunday came out with a list of 218 names in one go while holding back clearance for six other segments. Ahead of release of the candidates’ list, Karnataka Pradesh Congress president, G Parameshwara had said in the event of dissidence, ticket aspirants will be pacified and persuaded.

As per the list, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will contest only from one constituency–Chamundeshwar. Earlier, there were speculations that he may be in the fray from Badami in Bagalkote district also as he faces a tough battle in Chamundeshwari.

Source: Financial Express