Congress candidate Ayanur Manjunath: “Liquor, cash, caste, sub-caste were used extensively in the Legislative Council polls”


Ayanur Manjunath, Congress candidate for the Legislative Council election from South-West Graduates’ Constituency

Ayanur Manjunath, Congress candidate for the Legislative Council election from South-West Graduates’ Constituency
| Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

Former MP and Congress leader Ayanur Manjunath, who was defeated in the Legislative Council polls, said in his 30-year-old political career he never witnessed the distribution of liquor and money on the scale that was done during the Legislative Council this time.

In a press conference in Shivamogga on Saturday, he alleged that BJP candidate used liquor, cash, caste, and sub-caste to woo voters in his favour. “I have never had such an election in my career. I have faced altogether 10 elections, and what I witnessed this time was shocking,” he said.

Mr. Manjunath contested for the South West Graduates’ Constituency, which he held earlier, on the Congress ticket. He was defeated by BJP candidate Dr. Dhananjaya Sarji.

“I am appalled by the attitude of a section of voters too. Many approached me, checking if there were any packages meant to lure them. They are all educated people. Many of them are teachers. I wonder what they teach their students and what morals they cultivate among their children at home,” he asked.

The defeated candidate said that during his days as MLC, he raised issues concerning workers and government employees. Though he was with the BJP then, he opposed the law that increased working hours for workers and also demanded the old pension scheme for government employees, though the party was not in its favour. “If I had compromised, my positions would have remained stronger. However, I have the satisfaction of fighting for workers and employees. Though the voters did not elect me, I will continue to fight for them,” he said.

Answering a question, he said earlier that the Legislative Council was referred to as the Elders’ House. “Now it has become Builders House. People with huge investments in different sectors get elected to the council to expand their businesses,” he remarked.

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