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KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday said that the Congress only “welcomes leaders who voluntarily accept the ideals of the party, and has no need to hijack candidates”.

He was rebutting JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy’s tweets criticising him for his “lies” about the late M.C. Managuli, whose son is now the Congress candidate in the bypolls. Mr. Kumaraswamy had rubbished Mr. Shivakumar’s claim that Managuli, 15 days before his death, asked the Congress leader to induct his son into the party.

Replying to Mr. Kumaraswamy’s charge, Mr. Shivakumar said he did not need to lie about the meeting, while clarifying that his mention of 15 days was an approximation and not “by the calendar”. “The party has enough strength to field its own candidates,” he said.