Cong pulls out all stops to win bypoll

Of the total eight Assembly constituencies under the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha seat, just one constituency is held by the Congress and the rest by the BJP.

This has made the Congress work overtime to draw strategies and do field work to somehow wrest the seat from the BJP.  In the coastal district of Udupi, Kapu, Kundapur and Udupi Assembly constituencies have BJP MLAs, while Karkala has a Congress MLA.

In the case of the Malnad district of Chikmagalur, all four Assembly seats - Sringeri, Mudigere, Tarikere and Chikmagalur - have BJP MLAs.  The byelection has been necessitated following the resignation of D V Sadananda Gowda as a Member of the Parliament, after he became the chief minister.

The Congress has taken the byelection so seriously that all the senior leaders, including union ministers, have been drawn by AICC General Secretary Oscar Fernandes, in charge of the byelection, to campaign for party candidate Jayaprakash Hegde.

Fernandes, even before finalising the candidate, began networking in the Lok Sabha constituency to ensure that the party wins the seat. He has drawn Union ministers S M Krishna, Mallikarjun Kharge and Veerappa Moily for campaigning.

The seniors have to not just plan the strategy, but also campaign for the candidate on the field. The party is looking to cash in on their charisma in the constituencies put in charge of them.

Already, the State-level leaders have begun organising meetings. R V Deshpande has convened a meeting of party workers in Kundapur on March 1.  When contacted by Deccan Herald, Jayaprakash Hegde said all his schedules had been drawn by the party’s senior leaders.

“Both the AICC and KPCC have taken the election seriously. Those leaders who have been put in charge of the election will tour the constituencies extensively. Though I had lost the last election, I have been in touch with the constituency since 2009, “ he said.

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