KARNATAKA

Manorama Madhwaraj likely to contest in Udupi

UDUPI, MARCH 3. V.S. Acharya, MLC, said here on Wednesday that the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had unanimously recommended to the party's State committee that the former Minister, Manorama Madhwaraj, be fielded in the Udupi Lok Sabha constituency.

He told presspersons here that surveys were conducted within the party, and the names of Ms. Madhwaraj, A.G. Kodgi, Vice-President of State unit of the party, Udaykumar Shetty, Secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha, and Ramachandra Baikampady came up for consideration. Approval of her candidature was a mere formality. She was touring the nine Assembly segments of the constituency till March 17.

The party had set up a steering committee, which included himself, Mr. Kodgi, and six others to oversee the party campaign in the constituency. Election offices would be opened in all segments. The party would propagate the "achievements of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government and highlight the failures of the Congress Government in the State". Mr. Kodgi said the BJP was not going to have electoral adjustments with other parties in the State.

"All this talk of the NDA convener, George Fernandes, having given his nod for such a scheme was wrong. The NDA is not a party. Hence, the question of an NDA candidate does not arise,'' he said.

Mr. Kodgi said the BJP would support smaller parties in those constituencies where it was weak. The entry of the former Chief Minister, S. Bangarappa, into the party had changed the equations in the elections.

The BJP had already decided on its candidates for the Kundapur and Byndoor Assembly constituencies.

Halady Srinvas Shetty, who represented Kundapur in the previous Assembly, would be fielded again in that constituency, and Lakshminarayana, former President of the party's district unit, would contest in Byndoor. He said many leaders and workers from other parties were eager to join the BJP in Udupi district. Ms. Madhwaraj and Raghupati Bhat, President of the district unit, were present.