Delegation meets CM to demand ticket for Poojary

A delegation of Congress leaders from Mangalore parliamentary constituency on Thursday urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief G Parameshwara to field senior leader B Janardhana Poojary in the Lok Sabha polls, even as Union minister Veerappa Moily is pulling all the stops to get the ticket for his son Harsha Moily, forcing the party to hold an internal poll.

The delegation comprising about 300 members, including party MLAs John Richard Lobo, B A Mohiuddin Bava and K Vasanth Bangera, former MLA Vijaykumar Shetty, block Congress presidents of the constituency and Congress members of Mangalore city corporation, ZP members and other leaders, argued that Poojary is the right candidate and anybody other than Poojary will lose.

Poojary’s supporters had come to Bangalore in three special buses. They claimed that 14 of the 16 block Congress presidents of the constituency are supporting Poojary for the election. They submitted separate memorandums to the Chief Minister and the KPCC chief to press their demand.

The KPCC election committee had, in its recent meeting, decided to recommend only Poojary’s name as the probable candidate from Mangalore parliamentary constituency to the high command. But Harsha Moily's name was later included in the list before sending it to Delhi. Harsha is said to be in the inner circles of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and has supervised the campaign arrangements for Ramya in Mandya by-elections to Lok Sabha.

Internal poll

On the other end, Rahul Gandhi has now decided to conduct internal poll in the party for candidates’ selection in Mangalore and Bangalore North constituencies for the Lok Sabha polls. The party has decided to follow this process for candidates’ selection in 15 constituencies, including two in Karnataka. Rahul had revealed this during his recent visit to Bangalore.

Parameshwara said the high command has directed that selection of candidates will be done by the office bearers of the party panels from block level to the district level.

Even the office bearers of party's frontal organisations like NSUI are part of the electoral college, comprising about 1,000 members in each of these constituencies.
“The voters will express their choice of candidates, and the party would not be pitching anyone’s name. The election commissioner of the party will be conducting the polls. It will be similar to that of the recently conducted elections to the State Youth Congress,” he  said.

He also said he has begun preparations for drawing the list of voters for both the constituencies which will be submitted to the high command. In all probability, the elections would be held in the first week of February, he said.

Parameshwara further said Siddaramaiah and himself had recently prepared a list of probable candidates for all constituencies adopting the same method. “We collected the opinion of each and every leader in the constituency through ballot papers in sealed covers. We have been democratic in preparing the list of names. However, the high command has decided to conduct elections in the two constituencies.” he added.
Asked why only these two constituencies have been chosen, he said he was unaware.
The KPCC election committee had recommended names of B L Shankar, former MP,  G C Chandrashekhar, political secretary to Parameshwara, Rajiv Gowda, son of late speaker Venktappa, K C Ramamurthy, former police officer and Ramesh G Gowda, a relative of S M Krishna, for Bangalore North. 

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