He represented Vittla constituency in the Assembly in 2004
His three-year term will expire in 2012
My immediate task is to lead the party in panchayat elections, says Kottari
MANGALORE: K. Padmanabha Kottari, former MLA, has been elected unopposed president of Dakshina Kannada unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday.
K. Monappa Bhandary, who was the president of the unit, handed over charge to him. Mr. Kottari’s three-year term as president will expire in 2012.
Mr. Kottari had been elected to the Assembly from the erstwhile Vittla constituency in 2004, when he defeated K. Ibrahim of the Congress.
Mr. Kottari rose to become president of the district unit of the party from being a member of the then mandal panchayat. He was elected member of Golthamajal Mandal Panchayat in Bantwal taluk in 1986. Later, he was elected member of Golthamajal Gram Panchayat in 1994.
Mr. Kottari was elected president of Bantwal Taluk Panchayat in 1995-96 and 1999-2000.
He was elected member of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat from Golthamajal constituency in 2000. He was the lone member of the BJP in the 35-member zilla panchayat then.
He resigned as member of the zilla panchayat after getting elected as MLA from the erstwhile Vittla constituency in 2004.
Mr. Kottari has assumed charge at a time when the party appears to be struggling to retain the Assembly seats it lost to the Congress in 2008 elections.
Before the delimitation, the district had nine Assembly constituencies. Of them, the BJP had secured seven seats in 2004. However, after the delimitation, the district got eight constituencies. In the 2008-elections that followed, the party was able to win in only four constituencies and the Congress won in the rest.
Addressing party workers after taking charge, Mr. Kottari said his immediate task would be to lead the party in the next gram panchayat, taluk panchayat and zilla panchayat elections in the district. He said that some recent developments in the party’s State unit had created an impression among people that the discipline in the party was eroding.
D.V. Sadananda Gowda, president, State unit of the party, said that of the 36 district units in the State, Dakshina Kannada unit was the first to elect its president for the next three-year term.
Mr. Bhandary said that he was happy that the party was voted to power in the election to Mangalore City Corporation council for the first time in 2007, when he was the president of the district unit.
J. Krishna Palemar, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada, spoke. Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, N. Yogish Bhat, MLA, Ganesh Karnik, MLC, K. Prabhakara Bangera, former MLA, and other leaders of the party were present.