MLC election: BJP to field two candidates in Dakshina Kannada?

 MLC election: BJP to field two candidates in Dakshina Kannada?
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Mangaluru, Oct 07, 2021: The BJP camp is abuzz with discussions on fielding two candidates for the forthcoming Legislative Council election for the Local Authorities constituency.

The Local Authorities Constituency of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi has two seats. For over a decade both BJP and Congress have had one seat each. While Kota Srinivas Poojary has won from BJP ticket, K Pratapchandra Shetty is from the Congress. The term of both the members will come to an end in December.

The voters for these two seats are the members of Local Authorities (Panchayats, Town Panchayats, Town Municipalities, City Municipalities, and Mangaluru City Corporation).

Traditionally most of the members in Local Authorities were from Congress and naturally it had both the seats. Anna Vinayachandra grabbed it for BJP for a short span. Again Congress managed to ensure the victory of both its candidates- Blasius M’Dsouza and Pratapchandra Shetty in the Council.

But when Blasius M’Douza died in 2008, BJP fielded Kota Srinivas Poojary and managed to grab it from Congress. Since then both the parties are holding one seat each.

Demand for two-seat:
A section within the BJP feels that as the party has excess votes it will be in a position to get two seats. They want Kota Srinivas Poojary, the sitting MLC to contest and also field another candidate. For the second seat the names making rounds are of former Dakshina Kannada district president Monappa Bhandary and former Udupi district president Uday Kumar Shetty.

“We can easily win one seat. As there are excess votes, BJP should take a chance and field another candidate. Getting a second seat is difficult but not impossible. If we work hard then there are chances of winning both the seats,” a senior BJP leader told The Canara Post.

“State BJP leader Nalin Kumar Kateel is from this place. Except for one all the MLAs are from BJP. This is the right time to hit,” he added.

While many BJP MLAs are said to be strongly advocating to field two candidates, there is opposition for this within the party.

They believe it is an unnecessary challenge.

“What if we are defeated? Congress will get a good chance to show that Nalin is a failure within his constituency. Why should we take this risk?” the leaders who oppose fielding two candidates feel.
The highly placed source said that a team comprising of seniors from Bengaluru is likely to take a final decision shortly.

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