The Congress high command’s attempt to select candidates for the Lok Sabha elections through a “secret” internal poll may backfire as the number of ticket aspirants for the Dakshina Kannada constituency has jumped from two to five following the announcement. The trend may spread to other constituencies, leading to an all-out war for tickets. In Bangalore (North), probable candidates Rajeev Gowda, K C Ramamurthy, C Narayanaswamy and G C Chandrashekhar have already gone public with their squabbles.
Till recently, only the names of former Union minister Janardhan Poojary and Harsha Moily, son of Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily, were doing the rounds in the Dakshina Kannada district. Party sources now claim three more candidates want to contest from the district on a Congress ticket.
According to a senior Congress leader, many party members are backing Poojary, who has won from the constituency in the past.
“But some feel that Poojary has already been given a chance to prove his mettle (he contested the 2009 elections but did not win) and now a new face must represent the party.
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“There are doubts surrounding Harsha Moily, too. The new candidates may manage to strike a chord, especially among grassroots party workers and minorities,” the local leader said.
Among the new names being floated from Dakshina Kannada are Ivan D’Souza, PV Mohan, Tejomaya and Kripa Alva.
The Congress hopes to select candidates from hotly-contested constituencies by conducting an internal election.
Party members confirmed that the electoral college will comprise “select” office-bearers, district committee cells, members of the Zilla Panchayat, and former and serving Congress MLAs and MPs. According to party sources, the election is likely to take place before the last week of February.