Keeping with its tradition, the BJP is set to announce its candidates for eight Assembly constituencies in the district within two days.
The party had won Mangalore City South, Mangalore City North, Puttur and Sullia Assembly constituencies in the last Assembly election. Sullia is reserved for a candidate from the Scheduled Caste.
Sources said that the party had decided to field two-term MLA and former district in-charge minister J. Krishna Palemar from Mangalore City North, and S. Angara, a four-term MLA from Sullia.
Mangalore City South, represented by N. Yogish Bhat for four times, has another strong contender this time. Srikara Prabhu, president of Mangalore City South Assembly Committee of the BJP, has staked claim for the party ticket from the South. Sources in the party said the BJP was considering giving ticket to Mr. Prabhu, and fielding Mr. Bhat for the imminent Lok Sabha election.
The party had suffered a severe setback in this month’s elections to Mangalore City Corporation council in the South constituency, represented by Mr. Bhat, who is the Deputy Speaker in the Legislative Assembly. It managed to get only half of the total 22 seats it held under the South constituency in the 2007 elections to the council. The party, hence, is leaving no stone unturned to win back the voters.
Prestige battle in Puttur
Sources said that the party was making all efforts to retain the prestigious Puttur Assembly seat. In the last seven Assembly elections since 1983, the BJP had lost this constituency to the Congress only twice (1985, 1989).
Though rumours were rife a few days ago that the party might field the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda from Puttur, sources said he was not the frontrunner now. Names of K.T. Shailaja Bhat, former president of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, Sanjeeva Matandoor, an active party worker and a director in the Board of Campco, and Sudha, a doctor and the sister of Santosh, organising secretary of the State unit of the party, were doing the rounds now.
In Bantwal, the party is likely to field a wealthy farmer — Rajesh Naik of Oddoor Farms — against B. Ramanath Rai of the Congress; and in Moodbidri, chairman of Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy Umanath A. Kotian is likely to get the party ticket. The party is yet to decide a suitable candidate for Belthangady, the sources said.