6 children of ministers, wife of another minister spice up LS poll scene in Karnataka

News Network
April 11, 2024

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Bengaluru: With six children of Karnataka Ministers in the Lok Sabha poll arena, the campaign scene is getting spiced up in the high-stakes elections for the ruling Congress in the state. Prabha Mallikarjun, wife of Minister S S Mallikarjun, is also in the poll fray.

The grand old party tried its best to make several ministers enter the Lok Sabha election fray but none of them agreed and, instead, they proposed the candidature of their family members.

'Now, deliver' is the stern message of the Congress leadership to the ministers, putting the onus on them to ensure the victory of their kin, according to party sources.

The Congress secured only one seat in Karnataka in the 2019 general elections, and has now set an ambitious target of winning in 15 to 20 constituencies in the coming polls.

Elections in 28 constituencies in the State will be held in two phases on April 26 and May 7.

Sons of Laxmi Hebbalkar, Eshwar Khandre and H C Mahadevappa— Mrinal Ravindra Hebbalkar, Sagar Khandre and Sunil Bose— have been fielded from Belagavi (Belgaum), Bidar and Chamarajanagar, respectively.

Daughters of Satish Jarkiholi, Shivanand Patil and Ramalinga Reddy— Priyanka Jarkiholi, Samyukta Patil and Sowmya Reddy— are in contention in Chikkodi, Bagalkot and Bangalore South respectively.

Prabha Mallikarjun, wife of Minister S S Mallikarjun and daughter-in-law of veteran party leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, is the party's nominee from Davangere.

"In this 'do or die' situation, the ministers have found the Lok Sabha election a launch pad for their children and relatives. We have to see how these ministers succeed in their mission," a Congress insider said.

Barring Sowmya Reddy, who is a former MLA, none of them have any legislative experience in elections. Stakes are high for some other ministers as well.

The party has fielded Radhakrishna Doddamani, son-in-law of Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge in the family's home turf of Kalaburagi (Gulbarga), a seat held by the BJP.

Kharge's son and Minister Priyank Kharge has taken charge of spearheading the campaign in this segment, where his father had lost in the 2019 general elections.

"Priyank has taken this election as a prestige issue given the fact that the Congress president hails from here and had represented this constituency in the past in the Lok Sabha," a Congress leader said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month launched the BJP's formal campaign in Kalaburagi in what was seen as an aggressive message to the Congress.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress chief D K Shivakumar's brother D K Suresh is seeking reelection in Bangalore Rural, where the BJP and JD(S) have fielded noted cardiologist and son-in-law of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.

The Congress which came to power in the state in May last year is seeking to ride on its five guarantee schemes of the government.

Sowmya Reddy, who is contesting from Bangalore South asked the women voters during a recent roadshow - "Do you travel in the buses? Which places have you visited in the recent past? Do you pay or travel for free?".

She was referring to 'Shakti' guarantee that offers free rides to Karnataka women in non-luxury government buses within the state. Reddy explained to the people about the four other guarantees— 'Gruha Lakshmi', 'Gruha Jyoti', 'Yuva Nidhi' and 'Anna Bhagya'.

"Who brought 'Achchhe Din'? Is it Congress or the BJP? Which 'Achchhe Din' you will vote for?" Reddy asked the women voters.

In Belagavi, Mrinal Ravindra Hebbalkar, is taking on BJP candidate and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

In campaign meetings, Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar reminded the crowd how Shettar had joined Congress when the BJP denied him a ticket in the 2023 Assembly election, only to return to the saffron party a few months later.

"Shettar is from Hubballi and we are from Belagavi. We know the problems prevailing here better than any 'outsider'. Today, BJP people are saying that they vote for Shettar keeping Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mind, but I want to know why he joined Congress and abused the BJP, Modi and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa," the minister asked.

The BJP swept the 2019 general elections in Karnataka winning 25 out of the 28 seats, while an independent backed by the party also won. The Congress and JD(S) which fought the elections together, secured one seat each.

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News Network
May 23,2024

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The VTU Mangaluru division inter-collegiate football tournament was inaugurated on May 22, 2023, at P.A. College of Engineering, Nadupadavu. The inaugural ceremony was graced by Mr. Abdullah, a renowned footballer and businessman, who served as the chief guest and initiated the tournament with a ceremonial kick-off.

Dr Ramis M.K., the Principal of P.A. College of Engineering, highlighted the significance of student participation in sports, especially football, underscoring elements such as player coordination, strategic planning, team spirit, skill development, and techniques.

The ceremony was also attended by several notable figures, including Mr. Sharfuddin P. K.  Assistant General Manager of Campus, PAET; Dr. Sayyad Ameen Ahammad,  Dean of Student Affairs (PAET) and Dr. Sharmila Kumari, Vice Principal of P.A. College of Engineering; Mr. Niyaz Khan from the HR department of PAET; and Dr. Iqbal, Director of Physical Education, who delivered the welcome address. The event was anchored by Prof. Salim, Department of Electronics & Communication. 

Seventeen teams from the VTU Mangalore Division is participating in this esteemed tournament, demonstrating sportsmanship and competitive spirit among the colleges.

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News Network
May 23,2024

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Bengaluru: JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Thursday issued a 'stern warning' to his grandson and suspended party MP, Prajwal Revanna, asking him to return to the country and face probe into sexual abuse allegations, while asserting there will be no interference from him or other family members into the enquiry.

He asked Prajwal, the party's Hassan MP who is facing allegations of sexual harassment of many women, to return to India and surrender before the police. Prajwal had flown reportedly to Germany in the last week of April.

The JD(S) supremo reiterated that his grandson should be given the harshest punishment under the law "if found guilty".

"At this juncture, I can do only one thing; I can issue a stern warning to Prajwal and ask him to return from wherever he is and surrender before the police. He should subject himself to the legal process," the 92-year-old veteran politician said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

Gowda made it clear it was "not an appeal that I am making, it is a warning that I am issuing".

"If he does not heed this warning, he will have to face my anger and anger of all his family members. The law will take care of the accusations against him, but not listening to the family will ensure his total isolation. If he has any respect left for me, he has to return immediately," Gowda said.

"I wish to also make it clear that I will ensure that there will be no interference in the enquiry against him from me or my family members. There is no emotion in this regard in my mind whatsoever, there is only the cause of justice for those who have suffered as a result of his alleged actions and misdeeds," the former PM added.

He recalled he had spoken to the media about Prajwal Revanna on May 18.

"It took me some time to recover from the shock and pain he (Prajwal) has inflicted on me, my entire family, my colleagues, friends and party workers. I have already said he should be given the harshest punishment under the law if found guilty," the nonagenarian leader said.

Stating that he was aware that people had spoken 'harshest' words against him and his family in the last few weeks, apparently over the issue, Gowda said he would not wish to stop them, criticise them and argue with them saying "that they should have waited until all the facts were found out".

He also cannot convince people that he was unaware of Prajwal's activities, or that he has no desire to shield him, unaware of his movements, and also about his foreign trip.

"I believe in answering to my conscience. I believe in God and I know the Almighty knows the truth," the JD(S) patriarch said.

He also opted "not to comment on political conspiracies, exaggerations, provocations and falsehoods that have been maliciously spread in recent weeks."

"I am very sure people who have done it will have to answer to God and pay for it heavily one day. I place my truth and my burdens at the feet of the Lord," he said.

The former Prime Minister underlined that it was of utmost importance for him to earn back the trust of the people.

"It is of utmost importance to me to earn back the trust of the people. They have stood by me for over 60 years of my political life and I am deeply indebted to them. As long as I am alive, I will never let them down," he said.

Prajwal, who is seeking re-election from Hassan as an NDA candidate, is absconding and is holed up abroad ever since a huge cache of explicit videos become public, showing women being sexually assaulted allegedly by him.

There are two rape cases registered against Prajwal. An arrest warrant has also been issued against him besides a blue corner notice by the Interpol.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to the Centre to cancel his diplomatic passport.

Prajwal’s father and Holenarasipura MLA H D Revanna is out on bail in two cases. One is related to molestation of a cook, who was also allegedly raped by Prajwal, and the other relates to the kidnap of a woman.

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News Network
May 22,2024

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Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has led prayers over the bodies of President Ebrahim Raeisi and his companions in Tehran as millions of people gathered to hold funeral procession.

The martyred lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

The mass public received the coffins of the eight victims of the crash at the University of Tehran on Wednesday morning before Ayatollah Khamenei led prayers on the bodies.

World leaders, presidents, ambassadors and international personalities as well as high-profile figures of the Axis of Resistance, including Ismail Haniyeh, the political bureau chief of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy secretary-general of Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, attended the ceremony.

The millions-strong procession started from the University of Tehran to the iconic Azadi Square.

Iranians attended a ceremony at Imam Khomeini Mosalla of Tehran as part of mourning ceremonies in the late hours of Tuesday to pay homage to President Raeisi and his late associates.

The northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz and the holy city of Qom were on Tuesday morning and evening the scene of millions of people who had gathered to pay tribute to Raeisi.

The Leader said on Monday that he received the bitter news of the martyrdom of the popular, competent and hardworking president and his companions with great sorrow.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the tragic incident happened when Raeisi and his team were making an attempt to serve the Iranian people.

The entire period of responsibility of this noble and devoted man, both during the short term of the presidency and before that, was completely spent in non-stop efforts to serve the people, the country and Islam, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized.

“Dear Raeisi did not know fatigue,” the Leader said, adding that the Iranian nation lost a sincere and valuable servant in this tragic incident.

Speaking at the ceremony in Tabriz, Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahdidi said that Iran is mourning the loss of a beloved, popular, and humble president.

The Iranian nation is also saddened by the death of a foreign minister who left active diplomacy in the critical moments of the resistance as his legacy, Vahidi added.

He also praised the constructive efforts of the late governor of East Azarbaijan province and the province's Friday prayers leader.

“We had a bad landing in this matter, but we will have a brilliant rise,” Vahidi stressed.

On Sunday, the helicopter carrying Raeisi and his entourage crashed as it was on its way to Tabriz, the capital of Iran’s East Azarbaijan province, from a location on the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan where the Iranian president had opened a major dam project.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and two senior provincial officials along with crew members and bodyguard also died in the crash.

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