Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru
Mangaluru, Feb 9: The preparations for the 17th Lok Sabha elections have already begun. Along with political parties, the enthusiasts of politics and political analysts are engaging in their own calculations on possible candidates in the upcoming elections and on speculations on which party may win or lose.
In the case of Dakshina Kannada, the current political atmosphere indicates that the result will be unpredictable. BJP is holding Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat from past 27 years. Even at the time of Congress party’s clean sweep in state elections, voters backed BJP in Lok Sabha. But this time BJP office itself is not confident over victory because of various reasons. At the same time there is a hope in Congress leaders that if their calculations work, they can put a barricade on BJP’s run.
Nalin Kumar, Mithun Rai, Ramanath Rai, J R Lobo
As a cadre party, it is not difficult for BJP to gain the votes of party workers and their supporters. But when it comes to public, the party is being forced to discuss the contributions of its candidate who secured back to back victories in last two terms. BJP party is well aware that there is nothing much to say about its MP’s contribution for the constituency. Day by day, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel is failing to convince people about his work.
Pumpwell and Thokkottu flyovers are two major projects of Union government, for which MP Nalin Kumar Kateel is responsible for the implementation of the projects. However, the snail’s pace of the work and the failure of the MP to tackle the issue have put BJP in an embarrassing situation.
BJP is aware that the voters are fed up with the MP concerning these projects and that people are unhappy about the inefficiency of their MP.
Brijesh Chowta, Ivan D'Souza, B K Hariprasad, U K Monu
Apart from this, there is no other exclusive project brought by MP to the constituency and this has become another drawback for party leadership and workers. To cover up the failure of its MP, the party organised few beneficiary conferences in constituency which were also not up to the mark. Even in non-BJP constituencies, the same conferences are happening and it was alleged that the MP was trying to get credit on sanction of normal MP funds to the constituencies and general projects of Union government.
Despite the clean sweep in last state election, the breakdown within BJP and its leaders boosts the confidence of Congress and gives them hope. The close circles of Congress express their opinion that communal incidents that happened just before the state election paved way for defeat of their candidature. The MLAs of the party especially in Mangaluru South, Mangaluru North and Puttur concentrated on development and they succeeded to complete all the pending projects. Now Dakshina Kannada is turning towards becoming communal violence-free district and people who have strong feel in communal matters also want a peaceful life. As per Congress it is good sign for them and the party thinks development happened during the term of current MP will become major criterion deciding this election. In his consecutive two terms, Nalin Kumar did not succeed in fulfilling the promises of separate railway zone for Mangaluru, Plastic Park for district, expansion of runway at Mangaluru Airport and special agricultural zone. If people cast votes judging MP’s development work, then analysts predict that BJP will lose.
Former M P Janardhana Poojary
When it comes to party politics, similar to previous elections, this time also both parties have many ticket aspirants. The prominent leaders of both parties are engaged in ticket seeking drive. Few have formed their own groups within the party and are busy pressurizing party leadership indirectly through their supporters.
As per sources, despite being unhappy within the party, BJP district leadership has shown interest on Nalin Kumar Kateel contesting for another term. The sources within the party reveal that changing the candidate is equal to suicide because it may give speculation that party accepted the failure of its current MP. There is strong opposition on MP Nalin Kumar’s working style within the party and many have openly expressed it in party meetings too. However, BJP already has completed first round survey and almost decided to go with current candidate. It is also learnt that Capt Brijesh Chowta is in the waiting list, incase if any changes may happen at the last moment. Capt Brijesh is well educated man with lot of positive credentials and integrity. He is young too. People say he is accessible to any person any time. Some analysts say he has better charm compared to Nalin Kumar Kateel. Former MLC Monappa Bhandary is also one of the contendors from BJP.
When it comes to Congress there are many aspirants for the ticket. Leaders Ramanath Rai, Janardhana Poojary, BK Hariprasad , Mithun Rai, Ivan D Souza, U K Monu have already expressed their wish openly and said if high command gives green signal they are ready to contest. As per supporters of Ramanath Rai, this election will be held between Ramanath Rai and BJP. In another side the supporters of Mithun Rai have started a social media campaign in favour of him. B K Hariprasad has also expressed his wish in the media stating that he is also in the race of getting ticket for election. It is not a secret that Ivan D’Souza has been heavily engaging himself to make it possible to contest in upcoming elections.
As per sources in his last visit to district, K C Venugopal, in-charge of state Congress strictly informed that high command will not tolerate any groupism and the leader who loves his party and society will only get the ticket. It is also learnt that he instructed to take benefit of current MP’s failure and gain victory in the constituency at any cost. Sources reveal that he also warned District Congress Committee and its leaders on the ‘fan following’ working style.
Many party workers and followers of Congress believe that J R Lobo and Vinay Kumar Sorake are more suitable candidates for Lok Sabha seat. But Vinay Kumar Sorake has already said that he will not contest in elections. At the same time, being a genuine politician, J R Lobo has not yet expressed his interest to contest the Lok Sabha. But there is a strong opinion within the party and among the voters that J R Lobo is the right candidate and his candidature will increase the chances of victory.
Lobo already has many developmental works in his account which he did when he was the MLA. After the clean sweep by BJP in state assembly elections, district Congress went into coma for some time. But despite defeat, Lobo only became voice of Congress in various issues and he was in the forefront in defending the party in district. Impressed by this, the state leadership had given hints on giving major responsibilities to Lobo. Now the highly placed sources in Bengaluru say that party high command and state leadership may give ticket to Lobo for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The voters want an able and noble candidate, who can stop communal hatred and who can become a perfect voice in Delhi on behalf of them. Development will be major issue in this election and the voters of Dakshina Kannada, which is known for literacy, will definitely evaluate the services of their representatives. They will also have some expectations as to how they want their leader as their representative in Delhi.
They want a representative, who has a clear vision of development of the constituency and its people should be elected.