The announcement of results of the Karnataka Youth Congress election, held in three phases from January 10-12, with days of major infighting within the party itself painted an entirely different picture bringing forth the moral issues. 

The candidate with a minimum number of votes was elected the president of the state Youth Congress Committee, while the other who bagged a maximum number of votes was disqualified on grounds of having a criminal case against him.


The crime of Nalapad

Voters would have got to hear the opposite but the Foundation for Advanced Management of Election (FAME), a nonprofit organisation engaged by the Congress, has brought up the 2018 assault case in which Muhammad Nalapad has been charge-sheeted, which led to his disqualification.

Nalapad, in February 2018, was arrested for allegedly assaulting a man in a Bengaluru pub. Though, he was granted conditional bail in June, he was chargesheeted in the case later in the same year.

"For his involvement in the case, party was unsure of him contesting while FAME decision on this was pending. But he wanted to contest anyway and party gave him a conditional approval to file nomination that the decision of FAME would be final. By the time results were out, he was disqualified. So we went by that," a source told local media. 

Reports have also said that some party leaders, loyal to Siddaramaiah, even reached out to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and urged him not to allow Nalapad to become the KPYCC president as the decision could potentially damage the party's image because of the assault case.

Questioning the candidacy

Indian National Congress, congress, Nehru-Gandhi family
Supporters of India's ruling Congress party are framed by the party's symbols installed at the venue where Rahul Gandhi, Congress party vice president and son of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, is addressing a rally ahead of the 2014 general elections at Bardoli in the western Indian state of Gujarat February 8, 2014.Reuters

The selection of Raksha Ramaiah, 34, the son of former minister MR Seetharam, with 57,271 votes over Mohammed Haris Nalapad, the son of Congress legislator NA Harris, despite winning 64,203 votes out of the over 1.5 lakh valid votes polled in an app-based election, has led to further controversy among other senior leaders in the party.

Since the beginning, the Youth Congress polls were embroiled in controversy over the controversial candidacy of Nalapad and Mithun Rai, along with separate complaints of fake votes being cast and that delayed the results, which were also reportedly scrutinized by FAME before announcing the results.

Eventually, Rai, who got 3,104 votes, dropped out of the race as he is aged 36. As per regulations, a candidate must be 35 years old or younger to run for the Youth Congress post. This has further led HS Manjunatha, with 18,137 votes, to become the KPYCC vice-president.

Political analysts have stressed that the polls exposed a power tussle in state Congress as former CM Siddaramaih backed Ramaiah, while KPCC president DK Shivakumar supported Nalapad in the elections.