Cong greenhorn to take on 2-time MP in DK

Last Updated 24 March 2019, 19:03 IST

After an unsuccessful attempt to get ticket in the last Assembly election from Mulki-Moodbidri constituency, Dakshina Kannada Youth Congress President Mithun Rai has been successful in getting ticket to contest from DK Lok Sabha constituency.

With this, it will be a contest between a two-time MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and a political novice in the constituency. Names of Congress leaders like Ramanath Rai, B K Hariprasad, Vinay Kumar Sorake and Mithun Rai were in the list of probable candidates.

The Dakshina Kannada (earlier Mangalore) Lok Sabha constituency has been represented by BJP since 1991.

In fact, Congress candidate Janardhana Poojary had secured 4,99,030 votes (41.33% of the votes polled) in 2014 Lok Sabha election and 4,58,965 votes (45.18% of the votes polled) in 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Congress’s coalition partner JD(S) had not contested in the constituency in 2009 and 2014 general elections.

The 34-year-old Rai is a BBM graduate and was interested in politics since the college days. He was All College Students Association President and was also an active member of NSUI. Rai was the president of NSUI Mangaluru city unit between 2006-2008. He entered Youth Congress in 2008 and was elected as Youth Congress President in 2014.

He had been organising Pili Nalike, tiger dance competitions, during Dasara for the last few years along with donating cows to the needy during Deepavali.

Rai visited Someshwar Temple, Ullal Dargah, Kuttar Koragajja Moolasthana and St Sebastian Church to seek the blessings of Almighty, on Sunday.

Nalin Kumar Kateel started the campaign at Maroli ward in Mangalore City South Assembly segment with BJP workers and by wearing a headgear with a slogan of “Hum Bhi Chowkidar”.

A day before filing nominations, BJP candidate visited temples to seek blessings of almighty. Kateel visited Sri Adka Bhagavathi Kshethra annual fair. Later, he visited Sri Gokarnanatha Temple at Kudroli and offered prayers.

He also sought blessings of veteran Congress leader Janardhana Poojary.

(Published 24 March 2019, 18:14 IST)

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