MCC polls: BJP’s gamble to field new faces pays off

BJP women candidates celebrate after being elected as corporators outside the counting centre at Rosario School at Pandeshwar in Mangaluru on Thursday.

The BJP’s calculated gamble of fielding new faces for the election to the Mangaluru City Corporation council paid dividends, according to poll observers.

In the Assembly elections, the BJP had fielded six new faces and ended up winning seven of the eight Assembly constituencies in Dakshina Kannada. Replicating the same strategy, BJP issued tickets to as many as 53 new faces in the MCC council elections. The party’s priority for new faces was gauged by the fact that it had denied tickets to even bankable BJP leaders like Ganesh B Hosabettu and Roopa D Bangera.

Mangaluru South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath said tickets had been issued to loyal party workers who had toiled for the party. “The voters have blessed our candidates,” he added.

Party sources told DH that state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel also had played an important role by placating ticket aspirants threatening to contest as rebel candidates.

However, Congress party’s poor handling dissident and anti-party activities proved to be its undoing in the elections.

‘MLAs’ efforts’

District In-charge Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary said many factors including the efforts of BJP MLAs Dr Y Bharat Shetty, D Vedavyas Kamath, the single-minded determination of young candidates and the disciplined campaigning had worked in favour of BJP in this council elections.

“The poll outcome is also beyond our expectations,” he added. District Congress Committee (DCC) chief K Harish Kumar said the party will respect the voters’ verdict. “But there is a sense of fulfilment on having implemented developmental works worth Rs 5,000 crore in city corporation limits,” he added.

In the past seven terms of the council, the Congress had won with a majority in 1983, 1990, 2002 and 2013. It had formed a coalition with support of JD(S) in 1997. BJP is all set to run the corporation for the second time.

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