The Karnataka Youth Congress election that took place from January 10 to January 13 in three phases is facing criticism over allegations of malpractice in the counting of votes. The Delhi leadership of Congress Party has decided to re-verify the votes. The re-verification process will take place on February 20 and February 21. The candidates will be allowed to check votes, and in case any votes are declared invalid, they will be allowed to seek justification.
Controversy over Youth Congress leader’s victory
Mohammed Nalapad Haris, son of three-time Shanti Nagar MLA NA Haris, was earlier declared the winner of the election. Nalapad is accused in the 2018 Farzi Café bar brawl case. When controversy erupted over his selection, Raksha Ramaiah, the son of Congress leader MR Seetharam, became the President of Youth Congress, Karnataka.
Nalapad’s disqualification over 2018 case caused unrest among the workers of Youth Congress. Reports suggest that they felt it would tarnish the image of the party. The News Minute reported that some sources suggest Nalapad contested election only after receiving permission from the party leaders. However, as Raksha was supported by the former chief minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, Nalapad’s victory was allegedly sabotaged.
TNM quoted a party worker saying, “Nalapad is the people’s choice, which should be respected. Nalapad will go by the decision of KPCC President DK Shivakumar.” It is believed that the controversy erupted as a result of power tussle between Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar.
Raksha showed concern over counting
Raksha had earlier showed concerns over counting of votes and a large number of votes getting disqualified. He has said that over 120 of his supporting candidates were declared winners on January 31, but they were declared defeated at the time of recounting on February 4. He said his supporters won 270 blocks out of 470 blocks in the state. However, at the time of recounting the number dropped to 150. He further added that 27,000 votes were declared invalid on January 31, but the number rose to 47,000 on February 4.
Raksha had said, “Why were 20,000 more votes declared invalid on February 4? Why are winners declared as losers in the recounting of votes? We want justice.” While talking about swearing-in ceremony, he said that it would take place next month in either of three districts named Chitradurga, Davangere or Ballari. “Generally, the ceremony is conducted in Bengaluru, but this time it will be away from the State capital to allow youth members from other districts to jell better with the party,” he added.