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Undecided BJP gives head start to Congress’ Hegde

4:10 PM, Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
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MP-K.-Jayaprakash-HegdeUdupi: While the Congress has nominated the incumbent MP K. Jayaprakash Hegde as its candidate for Udupi-Chikmagalur parliament constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party is still in groping in the dark over choosing a candidate for the seat.

That Mr. Hegde would be re-nominated for the seat was a given as he had been elected from the constituency in the parliamentary by-election just two years ago. It was the victory of Mr. Hegde in the by-poll which revived the Congress in the State. KPCC president G. Parameshwara not only acknowledged this fact but also started his campaign for State Assembly polls from Udupi in 2013.

Sources said in Udupi unit of the BJP, the names of former Minister Shobha Karandlaje, Chikmagalur MLA C.T. Ravi and journalist Pratap Simha were being considered for the constituency.

Mr. Ravi told The Hindu on Monday the delay in announcement for the seat was because Sadananda Gowda’s name was being considered.

However, Ms. Karandlaje said that the party had told her to be ready to contest from either Mysore or Udupi-Chikmagalur parliamentary seats. “The matter will be decided in the State election committee meeting in Bangalore on March 12 and the name will be announced in New Delhi on March 13,” she said.

While the BJP is still in confusion, the Congress candidate Mr. Hegde has had a head start in campaigning. This is important as the Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency has a wide geographical spread and comprises of four Assembly segments each in Udupi and Chikmagalur.

Gopal Poojary, president of Udupi District Congress Committee, said: “We have already finished one round of campaigning and are now in the second round.” But T.V. Hegde, president of Udupi district unit of the BJP, said the party had organised its workers in the constituency. Hence, they were on an equal footing with the Congress, he said.

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