Express press service
BENGALUR: Ballari Rural District Youth Congress Chairman Siddu Halligoudar was reportedly assaulted by supporters of Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee Chairman-designate Mohammed Haris Nalapad on Wednesday night, indicating a potential feud at the within the youth wing of the grand old party.
The alleged incident happened on the terrace of a guesthouse in Yelahanka, Bengaluru, where Nalapad is said to have hosted a party.
Photos and video of a bruised Halligudar were reportedly posted to the Youth Congress WhatsApp group early Thursday but were later deleted as senior party leaders went into damage control mode and negotiated peace between the two groups within the KPYCC.
Since no complaints were filed regarding the incident and Halligoudar returned to his hometown, following the advice of senior leaders, no FIR was filed. But eyewitnesses told TNIE that KPYCC Vice President Manjunath Gowda and his supporters escorted him to safety and took him to hospital.
Considering the implications of the incident, KPCC Chairman DK Shivakumar himself came forward and claimed that nothing like that happened. “I checked and also spoke to Siddu, and learned that there was no fight. He told me that someone may have abused his cell phone to make circulating messages…I can’t get into his personal life, but I can take disciplinary action if mistakes are made within the party,” Shivakumar argued.
Speaking to private TV stations, however, Nalapad admitted to the incident but claimed he was not involved as he left at 9.30pm. “If some people are involved in a fight, why should I be dragged into it? There might be a plot by some rivals to dissuade me from taking over the presidency of KPYCC,” he remarked. .
But according to sources, a reason given for the attack is Nalapad’s displeasure with Siddu for backing Manjunath Gowda in elections to elect officials, including the youth president, between January 10-12, 2021.
Since the election was held virtually last year, there have been allegations that Nalapad won it with the help of accused Bitcoin scammer Sreeki, who allegedly hacked into Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account.
He garnered 64,203 votes, to Raksha Ramaiah’s 57,271, but due to accusations he won by fraudulent means, in addition to facing a criminal case for assault at a pub in central Bengaluru in February 2018, his assumption of duty as head of KPYCC was postponed.
As the matter escalated to the party’s high command in New Delhi, AIYCC chairman B.V. Srinivas brokered peace between the two factions, and Raksha was given the post of KPYCC chairman, with the term slated to end on January 31, 2022.
It is in this regard that Nalapad, who will take up his duties as president on February 1, had organized a lunch-meeting of the presidents of the youth congresses of the districts on Wednesday in a luxury hotel. However, informed sources The new Indian Express that things went wrong when they met for dinner at the guest house.
Meanwhile, Siddu claimed, “There was no attack on me. I’m fine. The bruised pictures of me going around are just rumours.” “The Congress party ‘goondaism’ started as supporters of KPCC chairman disciple DK Shivakumar Nalapad continued to attack the Congress party workers themselves. It looks like the Congress is going to make Karnataka a ‘goondaraj’,” BJP Karnataka tweeted, condemning the incident.