Congress prefers the former bureaucrat over Ivan D’Souza

The election campaigning is set to gain momentum with the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Janata Dal (Secular) announcing their first list of candidates for some of the eight Assembly constituencies in Dakshina Kannada.

The Congress declared its candidates for six constituencies while the BJP and the JD(S) announced five and four names, respectively. The elections will be conducted on May 5.

The BJP has fielded N. Yogish Bhat, Deputy Speaker in the Legislative Assembly, from Mangalore City South for the fifth consecutive term, putting an end to all speculation. Mr. Bhat, a four-term MLA, would face J. R. Lobo, a former Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation, of the Congress. Mr. Lobo, who was also a former Deputy Project Director of Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project (KUDCEMP) under Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC), is all set to make his electoral debut.

Though Ivan D’Souza, secretary, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), was a strong contender for the party ticket from the Mangalore City South the Congress has decided to go for a new face. Mr. D’Souza had lost the election in 2008 to Mr. Bhat from Mangalore City South by nearly 9,000 votes.

The former district in-charge Minister J. Krishna Palemar, a two-term MLA, who had to quit the Cabinet over the controversy relating to watching “porn clips” in the Assembly is facing the election for the third time.

The BJP has also fielded S. Angara, a four-term MLA from Sullia, the constituency reserved for Scheduled Castes.

The Congress has fielded B. Ramanatha Rai, a five-term MLA, from Bantwal. He will face Rajesh Naik, a wealthy farmer, and the first time contestant from the BJP.

U. T. Khader, a two-term Congress MLA, will face Chandrahas Ullal of BJP. Mr. Khader had made his Assembly debut in 2007 winning a by-election after the death of his father, U.T. Fareed, who represented the former Ullal Assembly constituency.

K. Vasanth Bangera, a four-term MLA, had entered the Assembly for the first time in 1983 from the BJP ticket. K. Abhayachandra Jain, a three-term MLA, will seek re-election from Mulki-Moodbidri.

Of the four JD(S) candidates K. Amarnath Shetty, a former minister, will fight the election from Mulki-Moodbidri while Rajashree Hegde, a former vice-president of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, will test his mettle in Belthangady.

Dinesh B. L., who is a close relative of the former Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda, will contest from Puttur on JD(S) ticket. The party has fielded Nandraj from Sullia.

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