UDUPI: The move by the state government to declare reservation roster for urban local bodies across the state has brought to the fore the presidential aspirations among councilors of Udupi City Municipal Council. The Congress bagged a clear majority in the 35-member council bagging 22 seats. With the post of president reserved for a SC candidate, Yuvaraj of Subrahmanya Nagar ward and Sandhya Kumari of Vadabhandeshwara ward are two eligible candidates for the post.
However, since the post of vice president is reserved for women (general) candidate, the chances of Yuvaraj making it to the post of president are all too bright. In the 2007 elections, Yuvaraj lost to a BJP candidate in the same ward, but remained active within the party. He defeated Narayana of BJP in the ULB elections held for Udupi CMC this March.
In all, 10 women councilors from Congress are in the race for the vice president’s post. Sandhya Kumari from Vadabhandeshwara ward is the front runner for the post. Others aspiring for the post are Meenakshi Madhava from Kodavoor ward, Janaki Ganapathi Shettigar from Kodankoor ward, Shobha from Kakkunje ward, Celine Karkada from Karamballi ward, Jyothi from Saralabettu ward, Latha Ananda Serigar from Sagri ward, Hemalatha Hilari Jattanna from Indira Nagar ward, Geetha Shet from Kadiyali ward and Amritha Krishnamurthi from Kinnimulki ward.
However, in case the seniority card works out in deciding the vice president, Sandhya Kumari who is a law graduate, may lose the chance as she is the first time councilor. The proximity of candidates with Udupi MLA Pramod Madhwaraj may also decide the factor, sources said.
Pramod Madhwaraj told STOI that the party has not yet decided on the candidature for the vice president’s post. Sources in BJP said the party might field a candidate for the post of vice president, but a final decision is yet to be taken. There is no SC councilor from BJP and the election of president is expected to be decided without any contest. The BJP has 12 seats in the council and there is one independent.