Rachaiah’s son ARK more likely to be a part of Congress throughout Rahul’s go to

Mysuru/Chamarajanagar: In what is likely to deal a blow to the in the Old Mysuru region, former MLA , who has been distancing himself from the saffron party for the past month, is expected to join the Congress when the All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi visits Mysuru and later this week.
ARK, as the senior Dalit leader is more popularly known, lost his previous election from Santhemaranahalli in Chamarajanagar by a single vote. His ensuing attempt in entering the Lok Sabha too has failed.

Given that chief minister and ARK’s father, former governor B , it is being speculated that ARK could be fielded from the reserved segment on a Congress ticket. While three incumbent MLAs from the Congress in Chamarajanagar district – C Puttaranga Shetty (Chamarajanagar), R Narendra (Hanur) and Mohan Kumari (Gundlupet) – are likely to be fielded again, the possibility of sitting MLA S Jayanna, a confidant of Siddaramaiah, being given the ticket for Kollegal seems slightly uncertain, and it is against this backdrop that ARK’s impending induction into Congress assumes great significance.

ARK had won the assembly elections from Santhemaranahalli in 1989, when he had fought on a Janata Dal ticket.

On the other hand, Kollegal’s incumbent MLA Jayanna has spearheaded various developmental projects including one to provide drinking water to the residents, at a cost of Rs 200 crore. A further Rs 200 crore was spent on rejuvenation of lakes, besides the construction of a bus stand at Kollegal, at the cost of Rs 18 crore.

Understandable, Jayanna is not too chuffed about the possibility of ARK being given the ticket from Kollegal. “We have great regard for the former minister and Dalit leader Rachaiah. He is like a Guru to us, and we have no objection to Krishnamurthy wanting to join the Congress. But we are against him contesting from the Kollegal constituency. When the Janata Dal split, and when Siddaramaiah joined the Congress, Krishnamurthy did not come with us. He joined the BJP,” Jayanna told TOI.

Jayanna, who has won the assembly election from Kollegal twice (1994 and 2013), said that the Congress leaders were contemplating re-nominating him from Kollegal this year as well.

The president of the Chamarajanagar District Congress Committee Mariswamy confirmed that ARK had indicated his intention to join the Congress during Rahul’s visit. “The details are being worked out. We don’t know if he will be formally inducted when Rahul is in Mysuru or in Chamarajanagar,” Mariswamy added.

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