After row, Congress to re-verify Youth Wing election votes in Karnataka

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The Karnataka Youth Congress election has had its share of controversies, and in the latest development, the party’s Delhi leadership has decided to re-verify the votes for the elections that took place in the state from January 10 to 13, in three phases. This is coming after allegations of malpractice and factional feuds.

Earlier, the election results were mired in controversy after Mohammed Nalapad Haris, son of three-time Shanti Nagar MLA NA Haris, was declared an invalid candidate in the elections after winning. He is accused in the 2018 Farzi Café bar brawl case. After this, his runner up, Raksha Ramaiah, the son of Congress leader MR Seetharam, was declared Youth Congress President.

Raksha is also among the leaders who has expressed concerns about the high number of votes declared invalid in the elections. He has reportedly said that while the first round of counting yielded 27,000 votes, the second round of counting on February 4, showed 47,000 votes during a recount. The re-verification now will happen on February 20 and 21, wherein candidates will be allowed to check votes and seek justification for declaring certain votes invalid.

Earlier, Nalapad’s disqualification caused some unrest among the Youth Congress workers, who felt that this marred the party’s image. Sources had told TNM then that the internal feud within the Congress was also because Nalapad had sought and received the green light from party leaders before standing for the Youth Congress elections. There were also allegations that Nalapad’s victory was “sabotaged”, as Raksha was supported by a former minister, as well as former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

“Nalapad is the people's choice and this should be respected. Nalapad will go by the decision of KPCC President DK Shivakumar,” a source from Congress told TNM on Saturday.

Some had even deemed this tussle a power check between DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, with the latter supporting Raksha to retain some power within the youth cadre, as Shivakumar is already the state party president.