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Updated: January 11, 2014 14:36 IST

BJP likely to field Kateel again

Special Correspondent
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DIE IS CAST: BJP sources say Nalin Kumar Kateel
maintained contacts with booth-level party workers
throughout the past five years. File photo
The Hindu DIE IS CAST: BJP sources say Nalin Kumar Kateel maintained contacts with booth-level party workers throughout the past five years. File photo

Mr. Kateel, a grassroots worker, made it to the Lok Sabha in 2009 by defeating B. Janardhana Poojary of the Congress by a margin of 40,420 votes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to field incumbent Nalin Kumar Kateel for a second term from Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency, said sources in the BJP.

The Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency (formerly Mangalore constituency which comprised Kodagu district till 2004 elections) is a BJP bastion, which the party has winning for the past two decades and more. It won this constituency consecutively for six times — in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009 elections.

V. Dhananjaya Kumar won from this constituency for four times till 1999 elections. The former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda was elected in 2004 elections.

Mr. Kateel, a grassroots worker, made it to the Lok Sabha in 2009 by defeating B. Janardhana Poojary of the Congress by a margin of 40,420 votes. The constituency has eight assembly segments. In the last year’s Assembly elections, the Congress did well and garnered all but one of them.

However, the BJP leaders said that Lok Sabha elections were a different ball game with national issues deciding the voter’s choice. The electorate here was more mature to make the distinction between the two elections.

Besides, there are other factors that support Mr. Kateel’s candidature.

The sources in the party said that the senior functionaries in the party had so far not indicated any change in the candidature of Mr. Kateel. As the MP maintained contacts with booth-level party workers by touring every nook and corner of the district in the past five years, there was no sentiment against him. Moreover, since there were no corruption allegations against him, the party was unlikely to change him, the sources said.

They said that this time the party was hoping to retain the constituency for the seventh time by highlighting the inflation during the second term of the United Progressive Alliance government. It was also that the Narendra Modi factor would work in favour of the party.

The BJP plans to highlight the confusions and issues pertaining to Aadhaar, linking them to bank accounts to get subsidised cooking gas and security issues.

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