They burst firecrackers and distributed sweets in Mangalore and Puttur

The Bharatiya Janata Party activists and admirers of party leader D.V. Sadananda Gowda distributed sweets and burst firecrackers in Mangalore and Puttur after he became the first Chief Minister from Dakshina Kannada after the district was split.

Party workers carrying the party flags and holding the portraits of Mr. Gowda danced in front of the party offices in Mangalore and Puttur. Crackers were burst near Puttur bus stand also. Though the family of Mr. Gowda resides in Puttur, their house in the town wore a deserted look as family members were away in Bangalore. Mr. Gowda, presently the Udupi MP, had earlier represented Dakshina Kannada in Lok Sabha and was a two-time MLA from Puttur constituency.

The party office in Mangalore started bustling as the news of Mr. Gowda's victory poured in. Party workers quickly began distributing laddus. Braving the rains, they trouped outside the premises and burst crackers and launched themselves in a spontaneous dance. They expressed happiness that the week-long political activity had ended with the selection of a man from Dakshina Kannada for the top job. They also raised slogans in favour of the party and Mr. Gowda.

Among those present at the party office in Mangalore were party's district president K. Padmanabha Kottari, former president K. Monappa Bhandary, city unit president Srikhar Prabhu, zilla panchayat president K.T. Shailaja Bhat, and Deputy Mayor Geetha Nayak.

Welcoming the election of Mr. Gowda spokesperson of district unit of the BJP K. Monappa Bhandary said that he was an able leader.

He had built the party at the State level when he was heading the State unit for two terms. Mr. Gowda was the first Chief Minister of Dakshina Kannada after Udupi was carved out of it. Mr. Bhandary said that the party expected overall development of the district under Mr. Gowda's leadership.

The party would press for additional grant to Mangalore City Corporation for infrastructure development works in addition to the second instalment of Rs. 100 crore sanctioned by outgoing Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa.

B. Ramanatha Rai, Bantwal MLA and president of the district unit of the Congress, said that if Mr. Gowda worked under the guidance of Mr. Yeddyurappa he would spoil himself.

Mr. Rai said he was not sure if the party would allow Mr. Gowda to continue as the Chief Minister for more than six months.

He said that if Mr. Gowda worked as the remote-controlled Chief Minister it would not be a great help for the State.

M. G. Hegde, spokesperson, district unit of the Janata Dal (Secular) and general secretary of the State unit, said that he doubted whether the BJP would allow Mr. Gowda to complete two-year term as the Chief Minister.

If infighting within the BJP continued Mr. Gowda would not be able to work independently.

He expected that Dakshina Kannada would witness some development under the leadership of Mr. Gowda.