Mangalore: Congress to Field U T Khader in Ullal By-poll
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (MB)
Mangalore, May 12: After days of suspense, the Congress party (INC) has finally decided to field U T Khader, son of the late MLA U T Fareed, as its candidate for the by-election to be held on June 2.
U T Khader
The by-poll has been caused by the death of Fareed after prolonged illness. Fareed had endeared himself to the people of his constituency with his inclusive and secular attitude and many developmental projects.
Khader was practically taking care of the constituency during his father's illness and had clearly proved his bona fides as a possible successor. Besides, he is the current president of the Ullal block Congress and has been actively involved in All India Congress Seva Dal, Karnatka Pradesh Congress Seva Dal and other outfits. He is also a graduate in Law.
Congress was facing a dilemma over the selection of the candidate, as, according to reports, there was hectic national-level lobbying for the ticket. Other aspirants were former city mayor Saleem, former Vittal MLA K M Ibrahim ('Suntikoppa Ibrahim Master') and others.
Khader appears to have scored over others on account of his track record in public service.
Ullal is predominantly a Muslim-dominated constituency. While the BJP has its traditional vote-bank, if the non-Muslim votes are not divided, Congress is sure to have a cakewalk. While Jayaram Shetty of the BJP had won the seat once earlier, Fareed was the only other Congress candidate than Abhayachandra in Moodbidri to win in the district in the last assembly elections, while elsewhere there was a total saffron wave in action.
A multi-cornered fight is likely in the by-election as the following candidates from different parties have thrown in their hat and are likely to file their nominations within four days, when the last date will come up.
BJP: Chandrashekhar Uchil
CPI(M): K Balakrishna Shetty
Janata Dal (U): John Francis D'Souza
Indian Muslim League: C Ahmed Jamal
Independent: Ismail Shafi
Janata Dal (S) looks confused and undecided over fielding a candidate. The recent visit of CM Kumaraswamy and widely-publicized stay in a poor Muslim woman's house gave a clear indication that JD(S) would certainly have its candidate. But the party supremo, H D Deve Gowda, is inclined not field any candidate, as it would only help the BJP to win easily, which, insiders say, he does not want. It is for the reason that if the BJP wins in Ullal, it would be total control for the party on the coastal districts.
The Ullal by-poll is expected to attain colour as national-level leaders of all major parties are likely to land here for campaigning for their respective candidates.
Death of the incumbent:
The much-hyped CM visit and stay: