Fifty-eight candidates filed their papers on the last day of filing nominations for the May 5 Assembly elections from various constituencies in Dakshina Kannada on Wednesday.
The nominations would be scrutinised on April 18 and April 20 would be the last day for withdrawal. The counting would be held on May 8.
B. Ramanath Rai, president, District Congress Committee, and five-term MLA filed his papers from Bantwal constituency, from where he is contesting election for the seventh time.
Former BJP MLA T. Shakuntala Shetty filed her papers as the Congress candidate from Puttur. One of the general secretaries of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a member in the Board of Directors of the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd. (CAMPCO) Sanjeeva Matandoor filed his papers as the BJP candidate to make his electoral debut from the same constituency. Ranjan Gowda, son of former Congress MLA K. Gangadhara Gowda filed his papers as the BJP candidate from Belthangady. This will be his first election. Former vice-president of Dakshina Kannada zilla panchayat Rajashree filed her papers as the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from the same constituency.
B. A. Mohiuddin Bava filed his papers as the Congress candidate from Mangalore City North, where he tasted defeat in the hands of former district in-charge minister J. Krishna Palemar of the BJP.
U. T. Khader filed his papers to face the election for the third time from Mangalore constituency. President of Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy Umanath A Kotian filed his papers from Moodbidri from the BJP.
K. Vijay Kumar Shetty, who had reportedly threatened to contest as an independent after being denied Congress ticket, stayed away from filing nomination papers. Mr. Bava told reporters that he had tried to pacify the sulking leader. “He (Shetty) is my leader. He has been pacified and he is not contesting as an independent,” said Mr. Bava, who came in a procession till Kottara junction and then walked with his supporters to the MUDA office. There was commotion at the entrance gate where a few of Mr. Bava supporters tried to get into the MUDA building. Mr. Bava entered the MUDA office with five Congress activists including Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Secretary Ivan D’Souza.
Earlier Congress MLA U.T. Khader filed his nomination papers from the Mangalore Assembly constituency at the office of the Deputy Commissioner. Mr. Khader said he was confident of retaining the seat. “It’s a democracy and nobody can be prevented from contesting. Congress party has the strength to retain this seat,” he said point to the presence of several Muslim candidates in the fray. Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily accompanied district Congress president B. Ramanath Rai, who filed his nomination papers from Bantwal constituency.