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K'taka Cong to adopt US model, hold internal election to choose candidate

By Vicky Nanjappa
March 05, 2014 12:37 IST
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A lot is riding for both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress in Karnataka and both these parties should have their final list of candidates out by March 9. The BJP has almost finalised its list and party sources claim that it would not have taken this much time, but there was a great deal of confusion where the Bangalore North, Chickmagalur and Mysore seats were concerned. Vicky Nanjappa reports

The Congress on the other hand has decided to re-nominate all its sitting members of Parliament but in the case of Bangalore North and Chickmagalur they are planning on going the American way of holding an internal election to chose their candidate

The BJP says that it would finalise its list of candidates in a day or two and would announce the same on March 9. The Congress will finalise its list by march 7 and announce it on March 9, while the Janata Dal-Secular is expected to come out with its list on March 10.

The BJP was going through a rough phase while choosing its candidates from Bangalore North, Chickmagalure-Udupi and Mysore. From Bangalore North, the party has almost decided to former CM Sadananda Gowda.

For the Mysore and Chickmagalur constituencies, the name that is doing the rounds is that of former minister Shobha Karandlage. The problem however for the BJP is the Chickmagalur-Udupi constituency has few takers, and Gowda, who hails from the Udupi belt is sceptical about contesting from there.

His name for the Bangalore North constituency is all set to go through as R Ashok, the former deputy CM whom the party wanted for this constituency backed out. This constituency was held by D B Chandre Gowda but the party decided not to give him a ticket on account of his health and age.

The Bangalore South constituency will have Ananth Kumar and Bangalore Central will see P C Mohan.

The Congress on the other hand has decided that it would re-nominate all its sitting MPs. However, in the case of Bangalore North there has been some confusion regarding the candidate.

Congress sources say that they will follow the US module in the Bangalore North and Chickmagalur-Udupi constituency where the local party workers will vote and chose their candidate. The election for the candidate is likely to take place by March 7.

While the candidate this constituency is open, the Congress has almost finalised its candidate for Chickmagalur-Udupi. The candidature of Harsha Moily, son of Environment Minister Veerappa Moily was rejected by the Congress and the name of Congress leader Janardhan Poojary has cropped up for this seat.

While it has almost been decided that Poojary would be the candidate, the Congress would still put the same to vote through an internal election.

The poll strategy for the three parties-BJP, Congress and the JD-S is pretty simple. The BJP without a doubt will quote Narendra Modi for prime minister as its slogan. The Congress on the other hand which is projecting party vice president Rahul Gandhi as its PM candidate, and will do everything to remind the people of BJP’s governance of the state during the last term.

The JD-S led by Deve Gowda would speak about an alternate government in the Centre in the form of the third front.

The BJP which had put up a spectacular show in 2009 by winning 19 seats may not be able to repeat of better that performance. Realistically the party is expecting anything between 12 and 16 seats in Karnataka. BJP sources say that it was not looking very good five months ago, but they seem to have recovered because of the  Modi factor and also the return of former CM Yeddyurappa, who is set to make an impact in the Lingayat-dominated North Karnataka region.

The Congress meanwhile feels that the wave in Karnataka is in their favour. Moreover, the people have not completely forgiven the BJP for the way in which they ran the state for five years. They are hoping that the people would remember this and give them the better vote share.

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Vicky Nanjappa