Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Mangaluru, Apr 21: The third list of BJP candidates has surprised and shocked many BJP followers in Dakshina Kannada district. Well-known face of Mangaluru North, two-time MLA and former district in-charge minister Krishna J Palemar's name was missing in the list, and in his place, Dr Bharath Shetty, largely unknown face, was given the opportunity to contest.
Hours after the list was made public, Palemar supporters expressed huge disappointment in the distribution of tickets. Speaking to daijiworld, a die-hard BJP party worker said, "This selection will help Congress candidate Mohiuddin Bava retain his seat in Mangaluru North. We agree that in the last election we did not do well, but there were several factors involved including infighting in the BJP at the state level. Undeterred by the defeat, Palemar kept touch with his party workers and people of the constituency. He travelled across the constituency, spent time, energy and even funds for the betterment of the people. It is surprising that little known Dr Bharath Shetty who appeared only on self-promoted hoardings during Amit Shah and Modi's visits has been given the ticket. We are demotivated, dejected and disappointed.
"It is true that Palemar had some setback in his life because of the mistake committed by others, but he fought the case and won, and even the party and the investigating committee gave him a clean chit. Look at people like Halappa, Katta Subramanya, Krishnaiah Shetty, Somashekar Reddy, Raghupati Bhat and many others who have been given the BJP ticket despite major allegations against them," says the disappointed party worker.
Party workers further accused that BJP leaders have played caste politics in Dakshina Kannada. Out of eight constituencies, it has given four tickets to the Bunts community, thereby denying social equality. Billawas are a majority in the region and a major vote bank for the BJP, but only one ticket has been allotted to a Billawa. Even the member of Parliament (MP) belongs to the Bunt community. Not even a single ticket has been given to minorities, though Rahim Uchil was a potential BJP candidate for Mangaluru (Ullal) constituency.
It is learnt that BJP state president Yeddyurappa was keen to give Palemar the ticket, but MP Nalin Kumar Kateel influenced state RSS leader B L Santosh to change the name at the last minute. Even in other constituencies in Dakshina Kannada, Kateel has invited the wrath from party workers for bias in distributing the tickets.
"This time BJP will defeat BJP in DK"
Looking at the current dissidence in Mangalore North, Congress supporters too feel that the absence of Palemar would surely benefit them. "Mohiuddin Bava has done a lot of development work without looking at caste and religion. He should win again. Compared to Palemar, Dr Shetty is a weak candidate and it looks like this time BJP itself will defeat BJP in Dakshina Kannada," said a Congress supporter.