Poojary belongs to the backward Billava community
He can break the BJP dominance, say supporters
Bangalore: The Central Election Committee of the Congress is seriously considering fielding the former Union Minister B. Janardhana Poojary from the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat. The “winnability” factor as well as his loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family have weighed in his favour.
Sources said that the Congress, which heads the United Progressive Alliance, was keen on coming back to power at the Centre and was counting on candidates who had wide support among voters in the constituency.
In the case of Mr. Poojary, the Congress leaders from the district are of the view that the former Union Minister, who hails from the backward Billava community, can secure the votes of 4.5 lakh Billavas and minorities, numbering around three lakh. Mr. Poojary’s supporters say their leader has re-established his contact with the voters.
Apart from four Congress MLAs, 95 prominent party leaders have written to Ghulam Nabi Azad, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, in this regard.
The supporters have said that Mr. Poojary would break the BJP’s 17-year-old dominance over the constituency.
Mr. Poojary had lost the elections in 1998 by a margin of 6,900 votes, while the former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily was defeated by 33,415 votes in 2004.
They said that Mr. Poojary had a bright chance of winning the elections as voters in Kodagu district, which used to vote against the Congress, would come under Mysore, and the Belthangady Assembly segment which has 55,000 Billava voters has been included in the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat.
Several leaders, including MLAs Ramalinga Reddy (former Minister) and M. Krishnappa and former MLAs K. Chandrashekar and R.V. Devaraj, and Gurappa Naidu have been camping in New Delhi meeting senior leaders arguing the case of the former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna for the Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat.