Poojary wins Mangalore primary

Putting an end to the speculation over choice of candidate for the upcoming general election from Dakshina Kannada Congress Committee, veteran leader B Janardhan Poojary walked away with landslide majority of 478 of the total 547 votes in the Congress primary. This, as his rival U Kanachur Monu, managed to garner only 62 votes.

The Indian National Congresss had decided to conduct ‘primaries’ in Dakshina Kannada, after Harsha Moily, son of Union Minister M Veerappa Moily sought the ticket from party high command for the same constituency. Though eventually, his nomination was rejected by the party leaving only two candidates in the fray.

The primaries was conducted by the returning officers Pramod Kumar D and Praneel Nair, along with 16 Congress high command deputed observers and volunteers from various parts of the country. Like in a systematic election process Janardhan Poojari was allotted ‘aeroplane’ as a symbol, while Kanachur was designated a ‘cricket bat’.

Though originally 598 Congress members were nominated for the ‘primary’ voting, several prominent leaders, including Mangalore North MLA MLA Moideen Bawa, were turned away by the polling officials either for failing to produce their identification cards or arriving late at the venue at Rosario School Grounds on Sunday. Seven votes were held accounted as invalid by the polling authorities.

Following the victory, the veteran leader thanked his supporters and reminded them that irrespective of the internal election they must fight together to win against the communal forces spreading hatred. “This is a internal election not a divide in the party, I consider it as a honour and not a shame to participate in this process. I thank our high command for decentralising the process of selecting the leaders to grass root level members and reviving democratic spirit within the party,” he said.

With this latest development, Poojary will now be directly contesting against Mangalore’s incumbent MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.