After much deliberation and lobbying, the Congress finally gave into Anil Lad to contest from the Bellary city constituency. The opposition to his candidature was due to the fact that his name figured in the illegal mining report.
Lad is however bitter and is often seen complaining that he is undertaking a lonely campaign. There were in fact seven contenders for this constituency from the Congress and today all of them have stayed away from Lad’s campaign.
Lad tells rediff.com that there is a negative campaign against him and some of the persons from his own party who were aspirants to the post want to see him defeated. Not only are they not campaigning for me, but they are even spreading rumours against me. I have complained to the high command about the same.
However his opponents in the Congress are not deterred with what Lad has been saying. They are clear that a person whose name figures in the illegal mining report ought not to have been given a ticket. They also say that he had shown a bit too much of attitude when the party had not considered him for a ticket. He had openly threatened the Congress of breaking away from the party and fielding his own candidates in all the constituencies in Bellary.
One can notice that Lad faces a lonely campaign. He has his wife Arati by his side. There are a few of his followers with him during his campaign. However there was some relief when senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge campaigned for him.
These developments have disturbed the Congress. Not only are the senior leaders keeping away from his campaign in Bellary city, but even the coporators have not been cooperative. This is leading to a great deal of dissidence within the Congress and they could face an uphill task in the 29 constituencies in Bellary. What has hurt the Congress even more is that they began this campaign with an advantage after putting up a great show in the Urban Local Body polls. However today they are upset with the events that are taking place in constituencies such as Hospet and Bellary city where the dissidence is extremely high.
Lad however is confident and says that he will win hands down. This will be my gift to Sonia Gandhi. However I would still be happy if the Congress stood united and I am even prepared to talk to all of them in person and sort out the issue, he says.