Primary to begin at 11 a.m. today; two candidates are in the fray

A group of 598 Congress activists from district will create history on Sunday, when they cast their vote to choose the party’s candidate for the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat. No party has attempted internal elections so far in Karnataka to choose a party’s candidate for a public office.

The unprecedented internal elections – called the Primary, modelled on the US elections – will begin at 11 a.m. at Rosario Cathedral.

Enthusiasm appears to be high among the party workers who have been enlisted as voters for the primary based on a set of 19 criteria.

“This is first time that workers are choosing the candidate. Whenever something happens for the first time, naturally, there will be enthusiasm,” said in-charge president of the District Congress Committee Ibrahim Kodijal. On the dot

The party’s returning officer for the primary Preniel Nair told The Hindu that nobody will be allowed inside the enclosure after 11 a.m. He said in one of the primaries held already, even president of the party’s local unit was kept out for delayed arrival. He said even mediapersons would not be allowed after 11 a.m. The party’s media in-charge K.T. Sudhir said voters have been asked to reach the venue at 9.30 a.m. as observers were strict about closing gate at 11 a.m.

All India Congress Committee General Secretary in charge of Karnataka Shantaram Naik and AICC Secretary Prakash Joshi reached Mangalore on Saturday to supervise the primary election. They visited the venue of the primary. After the rejection of the nomination of Harsha Moily, son of Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily, only two candidates are left in the fray: senior Congressman B. Janardhana Poojary and U. Kanachur Monu. Both the candidates have toured the district to campaign for the primary.

Preferencial

Mr. Nair said the candidates would get a chance to speak to the voters as soon as they meet at 11 a.m. He expected that the voting would commence at noon and counting would be taken up immediately after . Each candidate can make first and second preference for the candidates.

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