The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Sanjeeva Matandoor, general secretary of the party’s Dakshina Kannada unit, from Puttur constituency for the Legislative Assembly elections scheduled on May 5.
Mr. Matandoor has found place among the second list of 36 candidates released by the party late on Tuesday. With this, the party has declared its candidates for six of the eight Assembly segments in the district.
However, the party has kept its workers guessing by not announcing the names of candidates for Belthangady and Mulki-Moodbidri constituencies, for which its rival, the Congress, has declared its candidates. The Congress is keeping the voters guessing in Puttur and Mangalore North constituencies.
Mr. Matandoor is also one of the directors on the Board of Directors of the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd. (Campco), a multi-state cooperative society of farmers of Karnataka and Kerala.
The BJP has won Puttur Assembly constituency five times. It won in Puttur for the first time in 1983 when K. Rama Bhat was elected to the Assembly. It lost this constituency to the Congress twice in 1985 and in 1989. It has been winning this constituency since 1994. Voters have sent the BJP’s candidates to the Assembly in 1999, 2004 and in 2008 elections. The former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda had represented this constituency twice in 1994 and in 1999.
T. Shankuntala Shetty, who won on the BJP ticket from this constituency in 2004, rebelled against the party and contested as an Independent candidate in 2008 and lost. Mr. Bhat supported and campaigned for her in the last Assembly election.
Ms. Shetty joined the Congress recently. Rumours are rife that the Congress might field Ms. Shetty from Puttur now against the BJP.
In the last Assembly election, Ms. Shetty as an Independent candidate in Puttur had secured 25,171 votes against BJP candidate Mallika Prasad, who polled 46,605 votes. Congress candidate Bondala Jagannatha Shetty had secured 45,180 votes against Congress rebel Nalini Lokappa Gowda, who managed to bag 2,721 votes.