Senior Congress leader Margaret Alva has raised the banner of revolt over distribution of tickets for the coming assembly elections. She even alleged that nominations were sold for the Karnataka assembly elections in May.
Alva claimed that the norm of keeping out leaders’ relatives — applied strictly in Karnataka where her son was an aspirant — was being violated in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. However, Alva’s move has given rise to speculations about her fate in the party.
At least 10 relatives in Madhya Pradesh, eight in Rajasthan, six in Chhattisgarh and one in J&K have been accommodated.
“I am going to write to Congress president Sonia Gandhi about it. I will also forward a list of the relatives who have been given tickets for these elections,” she said. “Right now each family is getting two or three tickets.”
In Karnataka, those who were denied tickets included Alva’s son, former Union minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief’s grandson and general secretary B.K. Hari Prasad’s brother. “Were they terrorists, anti-nationals or smugglers?” asked Alva.
Prithviraj Chavan, who is in charge of Karnataka, said: “As long as she is a general secretary, I will not comment. It is for the party’s disciplinary action committee to react. “But it is very unfortunate that such a senior leader should level such baseless charges and give vent to her frustration,” he said.
“She is only talking about her son and of the other relatives in the context of her son,” another Congress leader, who did not want to be named, said.
He said Alva’s anger was also linked to the appointment of her bete noire R.V. Deshpande as the Karnataka state unit chief and the party’s almost indifferent reactions to the attacks on Christians.
Alva claimed she was not questioning the CEC (which includes Sonia Gandhi and the PM), but blaming the local leaders for the mess that led to the party’s defeat in Karnataka.
But her remarks are being seen as an attack on central leaders like Digvijay Singh, Vyalar Ravi and Chavan who were part of the screening committee that short-listed candidates for the CEC’s clearance.