5 Mar

Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency: BJP workers prefer C T Ravi as candidate


Udupi, Mar 5: Though top BJP leaders in the state including party state president Prahlad Joshi have said that the candidates for the Lok Sabha elections from the state have been almost finalized and are likely to be announced by the end of this week, uncertainty still hangs over its candidates from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur constituencies.

Although the BJP high command was willing to field former minister Shobha Karandlaje from Udupi- Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency for the forthcoming elections, polling for which is scheduled to be held in Karnataka on April 17, the BJP workers and party leaders in Udupi are learnt to have expressed preference for C T Ravi, who presently represents Chikmagalur as MLA.

Sources said that BJP workers at the booth level met the district unit leaders who in turn conveyed to the BJP state leaders that they want C T Ravi to contest from this constituency.

The BJP had initially preferred to field former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda from Udupi-Chikmagalur. However, DVS wanted to contest from Bangalore North, a seat for which even R Ashok was vying for. The party then decided to field DVS from Mysore, but changed its mind once again and finally decided to field him from Bangalore North. DVS had earlier been elected as MP from Mangalore as well as Udupi-Chikmagalur constituencies. But after he relinquished the seat on becoming the chief minister, the BJP lost Udupi-Chikmagalur seat to Jayaprakash Hegde of Congress.

Shobha Karandlaje too had been pitching for Bangalore North ticket but the party asked her to contest from Udupi-Chikmagalur. However, C T Ravi is said to have opposed her candidature and expressed his willingness to contest from here.

With supporters and BJP party workers backing C T Ravi’s candidature, the party state leaders are likely to make a change in the list and include his name, especially as Shobha Karandlaje herself does not enjoy much popularity in this constituency.