The first person to file nomination papers with the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) ticket is no stranger to many people in the district election office.
Supreeth Kumar Poojary, 41, is contesting the upcoming elections for the seventh time. The 17th Lok Sabha elections is his second attempt at reaching the Parliament. A diploma holder in Electronics, Poojary has been contesting Assembly and Lok Sabha elections since 2008 in order to create awareness about the existence of the smaller registered political parties in the country. “The voters in the coastal districts are not aware that there are 1,500 registered parties other than the Congress and the BJP,” he stressed.
Journey with tickets
Poojary, who had been a follower of Sharad Yadav, first contested on a JD(U) ticket from Mangaluru North Assembly constituency in 2008. For the 2013 Assembly elections, however, he changed loyalty and defected to Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He contested again from the Mangaluru North constituency with the B-Form issued by the NCP.
In the previous Assembly elections, he had created a record of sorts by contesting from Mangaluru North and Mangaluru South constituencies with two different tickets. He contested from Mangaluru South with Hindustan Janata Party ticket (a splinter group of the Janata Dal). He simultaneously contested from Mangaluru North constituency with Sharad Pawar’s Lok Awaz Dal giving him ticket.
The election symbol in both constituencies was a black board.
The following year, in 2014, Poojary was one among the six candidates for the Lok Sabha elections from Dakshina Kannada constituency. He contested on a ticket issued by the Hindustan Janata Party.
“The 2019 Lok Sabha elections would have been my third attempt to reach the Parliament had I been allowed to contest the 2009 elections,” he recollects.
In 2009, however, he was declared ineligible to contest as he had failed to submit the details of polling expenditure incurred while contesting the 2008 Assembly elections.
Poojary also claims to have contested against Asnotikar in Karwar. He filed nominations for the Hebbal by-elections 2016 and the Shivamogga Lok Sabha by-election recently, although in both the by-elections, he later withdrew his nominations.
Poojary is the first candidate to submit nomination papers, but has been ranked last in the list of candidates, owing to his miserable performance.
In the 16th Lok Sabha election held in 2014, there were 15 candidates in the constituency and Poojary got a mere 657 votes. In the 2018 Assembly election, he won 69 votes in Mangaluru South and 260 in Mangaluru North constituencies.
“The poor performance in the previous hustings was due to lack of field work. This time, I am confident of doing better than previous elections,” he declares.
Horekanike for Pumpwell flyover
Poojary says that, if elected as MP, he would ensure full loan waiver for farmers and unemployed youth.
Poojary says if he were the MP, he would have got the flyovers completed by appealing to the public for ‘horekanike’ (offerings in kind) in the form of cement, stand and other materials. Temple’s appeal for horekanike during consecration ceremonies always draws overwhelming response from devotees in the undivided Dakshina Kannada.