Mangaluru: They had faced opposition from within the party but managed to get a place in the first list of the BJP itself.
Sitting MPs of Uttara Kannada, Udupi-Chikkamagalur and Dakshina Kannada constituencies- Anant Kumar Hegde, Shobha Karandlaje and Nalin Kumar Kateel- who had won with a margin of more than 1 lakh votes in the last parliament election, did face resistance within the party to their candidature. A section of workers were unhappy with the 'uncontrolled' speeches of Anant Kumar. The unhappiness against Shobha resulted in a 'Go Back Shobha,' campaign in Dakshina Kannada district with even a group of senior RSS leaders pressing for a change in the candidate.
Though many felt the BJP might field new faces in the coastal constituencies, interestingly all the three sitting MPs made it in the first list itself. Despite unhappiness among a section of the public and party workers, they have succeeded in contesting again with the support from state leaders and could even make it because of the Modi wave.
“It is true that there is unhappiness within the party about their poor performance. But they have managed to get the ticket as they have the backing of state leaders. If Shobha is identified with the Yedyurappa group, Nalin belongs to the Santosh camp. Anant Kumar's Hindutva rhetoric will work in his favour in Uttara Kannada especially in the Maratha strongholds of Kittur and Khanapur. So they managed to get the ticket despite unhappiness within the party," an office bearer explained.
He said that if the party had made changes in one constituency in the coast, then it would have led to similar demands in other constituencies too. So the party felt it safe to field all sitting MPs in the region and thus ensure that there was no room for a demand for change anywhere.
“In the coastal region the BJP and Sangh Parivar are very strong and have ensured that the Modi wave penetrates deep in the region. It is the Modi wave that will finally play the pivotal role and not the candidate as such. A section of people and workers may be unhappy with the sitting MP but they will not vote against them as they still want Modi to become PM. For people, Modi becoming PM is important and not the local BJP candidates. Though the local MPs are blamed for non performance, there is no major complaint against them," he said.
“People also feel that the works related to road, water and other basic needs concern the local MLAs. The MPs have to bring the central funds and central projects to the region which the local MPs have done,” he added.
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