The split within the Karnataka Congress prevails over the Mandya seat which has been given to JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil, said sources.
Several senior Congress party workers want to support independent candidate Sumalatha who is the wife of late Congress leader Ambareesh, the sources said.
A panicky Congress has now taken action to ensure that leaders toe its party line.
As per sources, strict instructions have been issued to the party members by the Congress high command to support Nikhil and not Sumalatha. They also said that Congress leaders who have disapproved Nikhil contesting the seat are worried that if he loses the seat, JD(S) might bring down the state government post the elections.
An emergency late-night meeting was also held with Congress' Mandya leaders at senior leader Siddaramaiah's residence to convince them about Nikhil contesting the seat, the sources added.
In late March, the Congress-JD(S) coalition faced a conflict over the Lok Sabha seat of Tumkur in the state following JD(S)'s announcement that its patriarch HD Deve Gowda will be contesting the constituency.
Sitting Congress MP SP Muddahanumegowda had also filed his nomination for Tumkur on the same day following which several party members took to protests.
The protests broke against JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda as he was on his way to file his nomination for the Tumkur seat.
Muddahanumegowda later took back his nomination.
The seats of Tumkur, Hassan and Mandya had been flashpoints for the Congress-JD(S) coalition as Deve Gowda and his family members are contesting in the seats.
Recently, on March 28, I-T officials had conducted searches in the residences of the Karnataka minister in Mandya and Mysuru at 4:30 am on Thursday.
Following this the workers of both JD(S) and Congress staged a massive protest outside the IT office in Bengaluru. Senior leaders of both the parties, including CM HD Kumaraswamy, deputy CM G Parameshwara and Minister of Irrigation, D Shivakumar joined the protest and accused BJP-led Centre of being the force behind the raids.