Congress quells Kolar row, denies ticket to minister’s son-in-law | India News

BENGALURU: Congress has picked KV Gowtham as its candidate for the Kolar Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka, moving to cap a week of churn and internal dissent after a state minister’s son-in-law was tipped as the frontrunner.
The intense infighting in the Congress-governed state was ignited by the likelihood of Chikka Pedanna, the son-in-law of food and civil supplies minister KH Muniyappa, getting the nomination.
Earlier this week, at least five sitting Congress MLAs, including higher education minister MC Sudhakar, and two MLCs had threatened to resign from the party if Pedanna was chosen as the candidate, with allegations of nepotism exacerbating the crisis. Gowtham’s choice is being seen as a balancing act by the party brass, aiming to appease the factions led by Muniyappa and another leader, Ramesh Kumar.
In the 2019 LS elections, Congress and JD(S) had fought together, but BJP’s S Muniswamy won Kolar handsomely. This time, BJP has allocated the seat to ally JD(S), which has named M Mallesh Babu as its candidate.
Gowtham hails from Kolar and is now president of Bengaluru Central District Congress Committee. He is the son of former Bengaluru mayor KV Vijay Kumar. With stints in Youth Congress and NSUI, Gowtham brings both experience and grassroots connection to the table.
Congress general secretary and the party’s Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala highlighted the choice of Gowtham as a strategic move to ensure victory. “Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal and I had long discussions with KH Muniyappa, emphasising the fact that in the interest of a winning strategy, we need to build a consensus around an SC candidate for Kolar,” Surjewala said on X.
Surjewala noted that Muniyappa, a seven-time MP from Kolar, had shown magnanimity and grace by opting for consensus. Muniyappa reciprocated, emphasising the importance of unity in the polls.

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