Mangaluru: In a landslide victory, the BJP won 44 of the 60 seats in the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), wresting control of the civic body from the Congress, which was left with a mere 14 seats in Thursday’s election. The SDPI won the remaining two seats.
The MCC was the last urban local body stronghold of the Congress on the coast and its performance this time is its worst ever in the council. The BJP, on the other hand, is heaving a sight of relief as a victory in the MCC election was crucial for the party with Mangaluru being the hometown of its state president Nalin Kumar Kateel, who is now being credited for it along with the party’s two city MLAs, Vedavyas Kamath and Bharath Shetty. The Congress lost out mainly due its infighting and a poorly planned election campaign, according to party insiders.
“The confusion began from day one in the Congress. The selection of candidates marked its first defeat. Senior leaders like Ramanath Rai, J R Lobo and Moideen Bava forced the party to field candidates who were close to them and nobody bothered to pacify the rebels. Also, none of these leaders were active in planning or campaigning. The end loser was the party,” said a senior Congress leader, also regretting that due to the infighting in the party, first- time candidates did not have the backing they needed to win.
The BJP, however, silently built its support and won. In a well planned strategy it fielded candidates who would not only win this time, but also work for the party in future elections....