Mangalore: Congress primary - Janardhan Poojary wins hands down
Pics: Meryick D'Silva
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (NM)
Mangalore, Mar 9: Congress leader and former union minister Janardhan Poojary won the Congress primary (internal election) by garnering 478 out of the total 547 votes that were cast.
The candidate for the primary, U K Monu, could manage to win only 62 votes.
Out of 598 names in the voting list, only 547 were able to cast their votes, either due to failure to produce voter id cards or for coming late.
With this, Janardhan Poojary has been declared the Congress candidate from Mangalore constituency. He will be up against Nalin Kumar Kateel of BJP.
The voting for the crucial Congress primary (internal elections) began at Rosario School grounds here on Sunday March 9.
The process began with the registration of voters between 9 am and 11 am. Those who arrived after 11 am were not allowed to enter. Also, those who did not possess voter id cards too were disqualified. Thus, though the final voting list consisted of 598 names, many were unable to cast their votes.
Incidentally, Mangalore North MLA Mohiuddin Bava too came late to the venue and had to return without casting his vote.
After registration, the party workers and leaders had a meet at Rosario hall wherein the two candidates Janardhan Poojary and U Kanachur Monu addressed the party workers.
As Janardhan Poojary came up to speak first, the party workers erupted into an applause, but Poojary asked them to maintain silence. "This is a family election for us to choose our candidate for the Lok Sabha polls. Hence, no one should applaud or celebrate after results are out. The procedure should be peaceful. Whoever wins, we should all work for him with unity. Choose a candidate who is honest, with good attitude and who can speak in the parliament," he said.
Commenting on the clashes at Kalladka on Saturday March 8 when Sangh Parivar members barged into Congress convention, Poojary said, "We were there (Kalladka) for a peaceful convention aimed at fostering communal harmony. But people did not let us do that. BJP has been creating a fearful atmosphere. There should be no hatred. Today you (party workers) have the power to select your candidate. Vote for the person who works towards peaceful co-existence."
"Do not shout slogans after today's election. Ultimately it is the Congress that should win. You should win. This is our message to the opposition. We have to be united. If Narendra Modi (BJP PM candidate) is instilling hatred across the nation, Prabhakar Bhat (RSS leader) is doing so in our district. By 6 pm today we will give a strong message to the communal party," he said.
U Kanchur Monu in an emotional speech thanked the Congress high command for giving an opportunity to a loyal party worker like him to contest for the elections and said, "For the first time in the history of India everyone in the party has got an opportunity to contest for the elections. For 40 years I have been a sincere party member, working with secular ideology."
Recalling his journey over the years and the hurdles he faced, he said, "Despite poverty, I worked hard and became a businessman. A few people who affectionately called me 'Monu' later verbally attacked me for contesting the primary. I have been going through much pain over the last one week. When I went to block levels I was stopped by a few people. I have been a supporter of Janardhan Poojary and even took part in all his campaigns."
AICC secretary Shantaram Naik administered an oath wherein the candidates and party workers pledged to wholeheartedly support the candidate who wins the primary.
After the meet, voting began in 8 polling booths corresponding to the eight Assembly constituencies of the district.
Prominent among those who cast their votes were ministers U T Khadar, Ramanath Rai, Abhaychandra Jain, MLA J R Lobo, former MLA Vijaykumar Shetty, P V Mohan and others.
AICC teams from other states oversaw the procedures, ensuring that late comers were not allowed to vote.
Returning officers Pramod Kumar and Praniel Nair, Prakash Joshi and others were present.
After the voting, counting will begin and results will be declared.