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BANGALORE,MARCH 21: Senior Congressman C K Jaffer Sharief, it looks, knows the art of being in news during elections. On Saturday, the rumour mill worked overtime saying that Sharief may quit the Congress to join the BSP or the JD(S).

The rumour-mongers said Sharief, who has sought ticket to contest from Bangalore Central, is planning to join the BSP. And, in all probability, he would contest the poll under the ‘elephant’ symbol.

Another source said that JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda met Sharief between 1 pm and 3.15 pm to request him to join the JD(S).

A source in the Congress said Oscar Fernandes is not for fielding Sharief because H T Sangliana has sought ticket to contest from Bangalore Central.

Last Friday, a group of minority community leaders met Sonia Gandhi at Delhi. “Iqbal Saradagi, Rehman Khan and Jaffer Sharief were part of the group. Sharief had earlier told Sonia that he will not contest the polls.

In contrast, he tried to seek ticket which left the Madam infuriated. It seems the party has promised Sangliana a ticket,” a Congress leader said.Another source said that the high command, realising that Sharief may quit the Congress, has sent a team of leaders to pacify him and retain him in the party. When contacted, Sharief spiked the rumours by saying, “I am a Congressman and I will contest from Bangalore Central.” Asked whether he met Gowda this afternoon, he replied in the negative while saying Gowda is a good friend of him and both keep meeting each other.

When asked whether he has a chance to get ticket with Sangliana being a strong contender, Sharief said, “How can Sangliana be considered as a strong contender? I lost the seat last time with just 16,000 votes. I had represented the constituency for 35 years. I have not sought ticket from any other party. The BSP has not approached me.” Asked whether he would cross over to other party if the Congress denies him ticket, he said he would cross the bridge when he comes to it.

Source: Deccan Herald

Deccan Chronicle quoting senior Congress leader in New Delhi reports that Pu HT Sangliana is the undisputed candicate for Bangalore Central constituency. The party will not change its commitments made to Sangliana for having voted for the N-deal, the Congress leader was quoted as saying.

Congress list for Karnataka is likely to be announced on Monday (March 23) when party chief Sonia Gandhi will arrive in the state for campaign.

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