Udupi: Congress leaders of Udupi are furious with the party high command for giving Udupi-Chikkamagaluru to the JD(S) this Lok Sabha poll as part of the seat sharing arrangement between the coalition partners, recalling its long association with the party. They point out that the region had given political rebirth to the late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi and was responsible for the rise of stalwarts like Oscar Fernandes and T A Pai.
“When Chikkamagaluru was once represented by Indira Gandhi-ji, the party should not give it to the JD(S). I request Deve Gowda- ji to hand over the seat to the Congress,” pleaded veteran Congress leader, B Janardhan Poojary on Thursday.
“This is a very dangerous development as it could cost us not only the LS poll from the constituency, but also future elections. Party leaders in Udupi have been receiving hundreds of phone-calls from angry workers, protesting the decision. When the BJP is gaining in strength, we are letting the JD(S) gain a foothold in the constituency at the cost of our party. Can there be a more foolish move than this? Now the JD(S) will demand Assembly seats too here in the future,” a Congress office bearer warned.
A former Congress MLA called the decision, “a very unfortunate development.” “ Udupi is one of the strongholds of the Congress and the JD(S) has no presence here. It has hardly any presence in Chikkamagaluru too, but now is searching for a candidate from these parts. This will result in a cakewalk for the BJP candidate these elections,” he said.
All India Congress Committee member from Udupi, Amrith Shenoy too is reportedly unhappy with the party handing over the constituency to JD(S) and wants the party to reconsider the decision. The present constituency was formed in 2009 by merger of the two constituencies. Both Udupi and Chikkamagaluru were strongholds of the Congress till the mid-nineties, but are now with the BJP....