Janardhana Poojary pitches hard for himself

Janardhana Poojary pitches hard for himself

Veteran Congress leader B Janardhana Poojary addresses mediapersons at Hotel Woodlands in Mangaluru on Thursday. Former MLA Vijaykumar Shetty is also seen.Veteran Congress leader B Janardhana Poojary addresses mediapersons at Hotel Woodlands in Mangaluru

Veteran Congress leader B Janardhana Poojary on Thursday made a strong case on why he was the party’s bankable candidate for Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat apart from half-a-dozen ticket-seekers.

Addressing the media at Hotel Woodlands here, he said, “It is the wish of people and communities, that I contest from DK Parliamentary constituency for the record 10th time. Members of GSB community even have volunteered to hold door-to-door campaigning on my behalf.”

An 82-year-old Poojary, with his iconic pencil mustache, said his clean image in politics, now immersed in corruption, had instilled hope among the voters.

“There are about 17,97,417 voters in the district and four lakh to five lakh voters are from Billava community. There are equal number of minority votes also,” he said, “If these votes are polled in my favour, I cannot be defeated in the elections.”

Besides the Billava (Poojary hails from Billava community), Idiga community has demanded ticket from Congress high command.

Among the six other ticket-aspirants, he referred to M N Rajendra Kumar and Ivan D’Souza and severely criticised them.

He said SCDCC President Rajendra Kumar, mired in scams, was lobbying with party high command for a ticket.

Rebel candidate

“Rajendra Kumar, who does not even have party’s primary membership, is unfit to become even a gram panchayat member. Parliament Secretary Ivan D’Souza also will not get the party ticket,” he declared.

“If the Congress high command issues ticket to Rajendra or Ivan D’Souza, I will contest as a rebel,” Poojary thundered while hammering his fist on the table.

Poojary clarified that he would support other ticket-seekers like B Ramanath Rai, Moideen Bava, Vinay Kumar Sorake and B K Hariprasad.

“I had declared that I was a ticket aspirant much before the other ticket-seekers. In next two days, I will be visiting New Delhi to meet AICC Chief Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi,” Poojary said.

Poojary's political graph

Former Union Minister B Janardhana Poojary has been contesting from sixth Lok Sabha elections (1977) and was elected four times (1977, 1980, 1984, 1989) and defeated five times (1991, 1996, 1998, 2009 and 2014).

In the previous 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had lost to sitting MP Nalin Kumar Kateel by a margin of 1,43,709 votes.