Congress now has multiple ticket aspirants in six constituencies

Moodbidri is now a political hotbed with bigwigs throwing their hats in the ring

Except Bantwal and Mangaluru (Ullal), the ruling Congress this time has multiple contenders in the remaining six constituencies in Dakshina Kannada, albeit a few of them are said to be “dummy” candidates.

In all, 21 party workers have submitted applications to the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) expressing their desire to contest the May 12 Assembly elections.

Ministers B. Ramanath Rai and U.T. Khader have remained unquestionable leaders in the party being the only applicants in their constituencies, Bantwal and Mangaluru, respectively. Mangaluru South has two contenders in incumbent MLA J.R. Lobo and City Corporation member M. Shashidhar Hegde, while Mangaluru North has incumbent MLA B.A. Mohiuddin Bava, Mr. Hegde, the former MLA K. Vijaykumar Shetty and City Corporation member Purushottam Chitrapur as contenders.

District Congress president K. Harish Kumar too has filed an application to contest from Belthangady along with incumbent MLA K. Vasanth Bangera; but Mr. Kumar clarified that he has filed the application as a precautionary measure.

Puttur, represented by Shakuntala T. Shetty, has three contenders in Kavu Hemanath Shetty and Divyaprabha Chilladka along with Ms. Shetty. B. Raghu and Madikeri CMC member Nanda Kumar are the contenders from Sullia.

Incumbent MLA K. Abhayachandra, MLC Ivan D’Souza, the former Mayor Kavita Sanil, District Youth Congress president Mithun Rai and Ravi have sought ticket to contest from the Moodbidri seat, according to Mr. Harish Kumar.

High stakes

Stakes are high in Moodbidri after Mr. Abhayachandra initially announced his desire not to contest but only to withdraw his decision later. While he reportedly attempted to vacate the seat in favour of Mr. Mithun Rai, Mr. Abhayachandra’s move has now brought in many aspirants from within the party.

Mr. Ivan D’Souza, who had lost the 2008 Assembly polls from Mangaluru South to BJP’s N. Yogish Bhat by 8,760 votes, is making every effort to enter the lower house from Moodbidri. Dismissing rumours that he has set an eye on Mangaluru South too, Mr. D’Souza told The Hindu he did not want to disturb any incumbent MLA.

“I submitted my application only for Moodbidri, that too after Mr. Abhayachandra announced his retirement,” he said.

While Mr. D’Souza is a confidant of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Ms. Sanil has the support of Mr. Ramanath Rai. Sources in the Congress, however, indicated that incumbent MLAs would not be disturbed by the party.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:01:34 PM |

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