The Congress has fielded B.A. Mohiuddin Bava again from Mangalore City North Assembly constituency to take on the former district in-charge Minister J. Krishna Palemar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the May 5 elections to the State Legislative Assembly.
Mr. Bava contested against Mr. Palemar for the first time in 2008 and lost. Mr. Palemar had defeated Mr. Bava by a margin of 14,426 votes in the last Assembly election.
Mr. Palemar is a builder by profession and Mr. Bava is a civil contractor and owns Mangalore United Team, a Karnataka Premier League franchise.
The former minister held the portfolios of Ports, Inland Water Transport, Environment, Ecology and Science and Technology before quitting the D.V. Sadananda Gowda-led Cabinet over a controversy relating to watching porn clippings on a cell phone inside the Assembly.
The former two-term MLA of the Congress K. Vijay Kumar Shetty and party leader Kripa Alva were the other strong contenders for Mangalore City North constituency. Congress sources said the announcement of Mr. Bava’s name was delayed because of infighting. Two groups of the Congress reportedly clashed at Mangalore International Airport when senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes arrived here a week ago in connection with the preparations for elections.
Mr. Shetty of the Congress had won from the erstwhile Surathkal Assembly constituency (now Mangalore City North) twice in 1989 and 1999 elections.
The BJP opened its account in this constituency in 1994 elections when senior Yakshagana artiste Kumble Sundar Rao was elected to the Assembly by defeating Mr. Shetty. Though the BJP fielded Mr. Rao again in 1999 he lost it to Mr. Shetty.
The BJP is holding the reins of this constituency since 2004. It was yet to be seen if denying ticket to Mr. Shetty would foment any trouble to the Congress.
In the recent elections to Mangalore City Corporation council, the BJP’s hold over wards was down by three seats when compared to 2008 elections.. Of the 22 wards of the Mangalore City Corporation under Mangalore City North Assembly constituency the BJP won in nine wards when compared to 12 seats it won in 2008.