Mangaluru: With former union minister B Janardhana Poojary and MLC Ivan D’Souza expressing their willingness to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha election, it will be very tough for the Congress party to select a candidate for Mangaluru LS constituency.
Few days ago, Janardhana Poojary announced that he would contest from the Mangaluru Lok Sabha constituency if the Congress High Command would allow him to. Meanwhile, MLC Ivan D’Souza too had convened a press conference and expressed his willingness to contest claiming that the voters from the minority and Christian community are the deciding factors in winning the seat.
As there is a coalition government in the state, it is likely to select a common candidate from both Congress and JDS party for Mangaluru Lok Sabha constituency. If so, Janata Dal (S) would also seek ticket for its candidate. District JDS President B Mohammed Kunhi too, in a press conference in city, has passed on a message that there were some able leaders from their party including M B Sadashiva. However, as JDS has no stronghold in coastal district, the chances of its candidate receiving a ticket are very less.
Meanwhile, people from Vokkaliga Gowda community who are more than 3 lakh in number in Dakshina Kannada district have been demanding more representation for their community. As compared to BJP, Congress has not given more opportunities to the Gowda community in Lok Sabha elections. Hence, the Gowda leaders have been persistent with Congress for more representation from the community. A few months ago some Congress leaders from Gowda community convened a press conference and warned that they would raise their voice if the Congress High Command gave ticket to other candidates except some senior leaders like B Ramanatha Rai, Vinay Kumar Sorake and B Janardhana Poojary.
KPCC Secretary M Venkappa Gowda told Newskarnataka that there was a need to give prominence to Gowda community as the voters from that pool have been slowly converting to BJP over the years. “Though BJP has given opportunities to leaders like D V Sadananda Gowda, Shobha Karandlaje among others and allowed them to bloom in the party, no parallel leaders were found in Congress party. Hence, if the High Command prefers to give the ticket to young leaders, it should consider candidates from Gowda community from Sullia, Puttur and Beltangady taluk”, he said.
As many as 12,07,583 voters cast their franchsie in the last Lok Sabha election of 2014. Of them, 6,42,739 voted for BJP candidate Nalin Kumar Kateel. His nearest rival, B Janardhana Poojary of the Congress, got 4,99,030 votes. Kateel got the maximum lead from the Sullia assembly segment with 34,024 votes.
Another leader from Sullia, P S Gangadhar, who is also the general secretary of Sullia Block Congress informed that if Congress High Command preferred to give ticket to a Gowda community leader, those loyal to BJP will definitely turn to Congress as 65 percent of the total population of Sullia comprises of Gowda community”, he adds.