‘This will boost the prospects of the BJP’

Shobha Karandlaje, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency, said on Sunday that the supporters of the independent MLA from Kundapur, Halady Srinivas Shetty, have decided to support her in the forthcoming parliamentary election.

Addressing presspersons here, Ms. Karandlaje said that workers and leaders of Kundapur and Byndoor Assembly constituencies in Udupi district, who were in the BJP, but were closely identified with Mr. Halady Srinivas Shetty (who had left the BJP after being denied a ministerial berth in 2012) had decided to support her.

The members of Zilla Panchayat, Udupi and Kundapur Taluk Panchayats and Gram Panchayats, and local leaders such as Kiran Kodgi associated with Mr. Shetty were present at the press conference.

Ms. Karandlaje said that the open backing of Mr. Shetty supporters would boost the prospects of the BJP. She was happy that these members had decided to support her.

“They all want the BJP to win and the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to become the Prime Minister. It is our hope that Mr. Shetty, too, would join the BJP some day. He was in our party for a long time,” she said.

Asked about the close associate of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, V. Dhananjaya Kumar, contesting as Janata Dal (Secular) candidate for Udupi-Chikmagalur seat, Ms. Karandlaje said that Mr. Yeddyurappa had tried hard to get Mr. Kumar re-inducted into the BJP. “I wish Mr. Kumar all the best in the elections,” she said.

On whether there was any strategy behind Mr. Kumar’s candidature, Ms. Karandlaje said: “May be his political strategy is to support me.”

Mr. Kodgi, a close associate of Mr. Shetty, said that the MLA had decided to remain neutral in the parliamentary elections. He would not support any candidate. But he had not put any restrictions on his supporters. “He has told us to take our own decision,” he said.

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