KARNATAKA

Will it be easy for Asnotikar this time?

Anand Asnotikar

Anand Asnotikar  

Raviprasad Kamila

The challenge is to gain the trust of the voters and turn it in his favour



After Asnotikar, 17 councillors elected on Congress ticket joined the BJP

The constituency got Rs. 40 crore after I joined the BJP, the Minister says



KARWAR/ANKOLA: A majority of the Congress councillors joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Karwar City Municipal Council appears to have made election campaigning in Karwar Urban limits easy for Minister for Fisheries Anand Asnotikar this time.

He is contesting the by-election to the Karwar Assembly constituency on BJP ticket. After he joined the BJP, of the 17 councillors elected on Congress ticket, 16 councillors joined the BJP. The BJP had won only five seats in the municipal election.

As six independent councillors too joined the BJP, the party’s tally in the 31-member municipal council rose to 27 enabling it to rule the municipality on a firm footing.

Now the challenge before the Minister is to gain the trust of the voters both in the urban and the rural limits in his new “avatar” and convert it into votes in favour of the party.

The Minister’s campaigning began at 9.40 a.m. on Tuesday with a visit to Devaliwada-Padri Bagh ward in Karwar town seeking votes. It is the ward of Sneha Subodh Baadkar, who is one among the 16 such Congress councillors who joined the BJP recently.

The Minister went on to explain why he joined the BJP by stating that it was to provide a stable Government in the State and to avoid another general election. Without making any personal remarks against any political leader or party, he spoke about development issues. The constituency got Rs. 40 crore only after he joined the BJP, otherwise it would not have been possible, he said. The Minister preferred to address them in Konkani.

On the other hand, the Congress candidate for the by-election in the constituency, Sail Satish Krishna, who campaigned in different villages near Ankola, took objection to Mr. Asnotikar joining the BJP.

Addressing a gathering at Belakeri village near Ankola, he alleged that the power situation in the State will worsen if people elected the BJP candidate again. This by-election has been “created artificially,” he alleged.

At Ageri colony, people were found waiting for the arrival of Mr. Krishna for more than three hours. “We were informed that Mr. Krishna will address us at 1 p.m. We have been waiting here since noon,” Vittala, a daily wage worker, told The Hindu at 2.45 p.m. “Some say that Mr. Asnotikar should not have quit the Congress while others say that it is good that he quit,” he said.

According to Shantharam Hegde, president of Uttara Kannada unit of the Congress, the party has completed two rounds of campaigning in the constituency.

A BJP spokesperson said that the party has completed two rounds of campaigning in the rural areas and one in the urban limits.

S. Bangarappa, Samajwadi Party leader, was campaigning for the Congress candidate at Sadashivagad and Kharge Jog Island on Tuesday. Mr. Hegde said that Mr. Bangarappa is campaigning for the Congress in select parts of the constituency, including Ankola. The Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, will campaign in Karwar and Ankola on Wednesday.

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