Mr. Poojary, who won from the constituency four consecutive times, has been humbled by the BJP as many times
A rather unprecedented “ticket war” has begun in Dakshina Kannada Congress, with Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Environment M. Veerappa Moily’s son making a serious attempt to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Mangalore constituency. The party’s strongman in the region B. Janardhana Poojary, who unsuccessfully contested the previous election, has taken offence to this and has reached New Delhi to “plead my case”.
With the two leaders making statements before media on the issue on Sunday, their strained relationship has come out in the open.
A vernacular daily quoted Mr. Moily as saying at Karkala, his home town in Udupi district, that his son Harsha Moily, Founder and CEO of Moksha-Yug Access, a commercial venture that aims to ensure income certainty for rural Indian farmers, deserved the ticket. Mr. Poojary, who on Sunday reportedly described the challenge from the youth as nothing less than a “war”, said he would fight it out in New Delhi. By Monday afternoon, Mr. Poojary confirmed from New Delhi to The Hindu that he will meet party leaders, including AICC president Sonia Gandhi, in this regard.
Mr. Moily’s supporters say his son stands a fair chance of winning elections saying voters wanted a change and looked for a younger face. The Aam Aadmi Party’s experiment in New Delhi is cited as a proof of this. They add that Mr. Poojary had lost the elections four times. Besides, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi wanted that half of the party’s candidates should be youths. The former vice-president of DCC K. Thejomaya said Mr. Harsha Moily had worked with Mr. Gandhi.
Mr. Poojary’s camp says Mr. Harsha Moily has never been active in the party nor has he endeared himself to the voters in the district. His candidature would be against the party’s election guideline that those who have not worked for the party for five years cannot be considered.
The party sources say that Mr. Poojary was the lone candidate recommended from the district as its candidate and the other candidate was seeking a backdoor entry. They said the claims of Mr. Harsha Moily working with Mr. Gandhi were baseless.
Mr. Poojary, who won from the constituency four consecutive times, has been humbled by the BJP as many times. Mr. Veerappa Moily, who has tasted defeat at the hands of the BJP twice, has never won here. In 2009, he was elected from Chikballapur constituency.