Kalaburagi: The Congress party, which was in a dilemma over a candidate for the Kalaburagi North constituency, appears to have finally opted for late Minister, Qamarul Islam’s wife, Khaneez Fathima. Arriving here Thursday evening from Bengaluru via Hyderabad , Mrs Fathima was given a grand welcome by her supporters and taken in a procession to the Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah and through the streets of the city.
The selection of a candidate for Gulbarga North Assembly Seat, that Mr Islam represented six times, had become a contentious issue between his loyalists and supporters of Mr Ilyas Bhagwan, chairman of Northwest Road Transport Corporation who was in the race for the ticket.
Prominent leaders, who were keen on fielding either Mrs Khaneez Fathima or Mr Islam’s adopted son, had raised a banner of revolt against the party and threatened to enter the fray as independents to “keep the legacy of Mr Islam alive.” But the party seems to have been convinced that it could suffer a defeat in the constituency if a candidate other than a family member of the late leader was fielded and has opted for Mrs Fathima.
The decision to field her is being construed as a major setback for senior leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, who did not have a cordial relationship with the late Mr Islam, and was toying with the idea of fielding of his supporter, Ilyas Bhagawan, from the constituency. The latter is still camping in Bengaluru in an effort to get the ticket, going by sources. Meanwhile, the JDS has reportedly decided to field a young leader, Nasir Hussain from the constituency. But the BJP has not yet finalised its candidate.
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