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Guruswamy enters fray, stakes claim to Congress ticket

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, APRIL 5. Accompanied by a large number of supporters, the former MLA, A.S. Guruswamy, who is a strong contender for the Congress ticket for the Chamundeshwari Assembly Constituency, filed his nomination papers here today, giving room for speculations that he will contest the election as a "rebel" if the Congress ignores his claim for its nomination.

Mr. Guruswamy's move to file the nomination papers even before the party announces its official candidate for the constituency is perceived as a "pressure tactic" adopted by the former MLA to secure the Congress ticket in the wake of the former Director General of Police, L. Revannasiddaiah, bid to get the Congress to nominate him.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people from the constituency, including party leaders, accompanied Mr. Guruswamy when he filed his nomination papers after offering prayers at the Kote Anjaneya Swamy Temple on the Mysore palace premises. He went in a procession to file his nominations at the taluk office.

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr Guruswamy agreed that he had organised the procession to bring pressure on the party leadership, which was <129>entertaining the claims of Mr. Revannasiddaiah for the party ticket.

"Yes, I intended to send across a strong message to the party leadership about my electoral strength in the constituency and the respect I command from the voters," he said.

However, Mr. Guruswamy refused to tell whether he would remain in the fray as a "rebel" if he was denied the ticket.

"I am still pinning hopes on the Congress leadership. I will consider charting out an alternative course of action only if the party rejects my claim for the ticket."

Mr. Guruswamy held out a veiled threat that the Congress would lose the constituency if he was not renominated. "My supporters are determined not to work for the party if I am not fielded," he said.

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