Bengaluru, April 16: Senior Karnataka Congress leader K.R. Khan on Monday hit out at the party leadership over ticket distribution for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state. Targeting Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Khan said the former had been a part of various Janata Dal factions and as such, did not have any attachment to (Congress) leaders and cadre.

“It’s a reality of our party. Our CM, along with others, came from JDS and so he gives more importance to them,” he said on being asked if people who had come from the JDS were given preference over those from the Congress. “It is sad that the state leadership lacks the ability to take everyone along. New people have been given responsibilities, who don’t even know how to treat seniors. If the high command doesn’t address this aspect of the state leadership, it might bring losses for the party,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP was echoing the sentiments of local Congress leadership over the list of candidates that was announced earlier in the day. There was apparent dissent within the party; many leaders threatened to give up their membership even as their loyalists went on the rampage and vandalised party offices in Mandya, Mangaluru, Hangal, Badami and Kolar, among others.

Many also alleged that the “one family one ticket” formula hadn’t been applied to Karnataka elections; the Chief Minister and his son both got tickets.  The Congress released its first list of 218 candidates for the May 12 election to the state Assembly. The BJP also came out with its second list of 82 candidates. Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said his party won’t contest the elections but would support the JD(S).