(Stanley Pinto, TNN | Apr 4, 2013)
MANGALORE: If Congress thought that its troubles only lay in finalizing candidates for Mangalore South assembly constituency, it couldn’t be more wrong.
Trouble is brewing in two more constituencies – Mangalore North and Mangalore (formerly Ullal) — with disgruntled party workers wanting the so-called official candidates to be replaced.
In Mangalore North, the rebellion is from party workers and corporators in former MLA Vijayakumar Shetty’s camp. Thirteen corporators have threatened to resign if Shetty is not given the ticket to contest opposing Kripa Alva’s candidature for the constituency.
Meanwhile, two-time MLA Vijayakumar Shetty said: Of course, I’m an aspirant and my supporters want me to contest. Last time, I decided against it as my Muslim brethren requested me not to contest. This time I’m keen. But whatever decision the party takes, as a loyal Congressman, I will abide by it.”
Even in Mangalore assembly constituency, where UT Khader’s selection is seen as a foregone conclusion, there are some dissenting voices. Under the banner of ‘Mangalooru Kshetra Naija Congressigara Janandolana Samithi’, some local Congressmen have raised the banner of revolt accusing Khader family of using the party workers as bonded labourers. They have called a meeting of their members on April 5 at Thokkotu to decide on the future course of action. They may decide to field a rebel at the meeting.
Mangalore South will be really a tricky affair for the Congress with its district unit vice-president Ivan D’Souza and former city corporation commissioner JR Lobo in the fray. Ivan had lost against N Yogish Bhat by 8,760 votes in the last polls. With both candidates having enough support, tickets to either one will lead to a lot of heartburn making things easy for Bhat’s record fifth continuous win from this constituency.
Dakshina Kannada district Congress president B Ramanath Rai admits that there is a problem right now. It is but natural as there are multiple aspirants in some constituencies. But once the list is announced, things will settle down and all will work for the official candidate,” he asserted.
Sources said the problem in South and North are serious in nature if not addressed immediately and will give advantage to BJP, but the disgruntlement in Mangalore assembly constituency is minor in nature which will not affect the chances of the official candidate.