Mangaluru, Dec 26, 2015: K. Jayaprakash Hegde, who is contesting as an independent candidate for Udupi-Dakshina Kannada local bodies constituency for Legislative Council after being expelled from the Congress, said on Dec 25, Friday that there was an “anti-Congress leadership” wave in both Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts.
talking to media K J Hegde said that the Congress candidate Pratapchandra Shetty was not the choice of the party workers. He had been chosen ignoring the views of the party workers. This had become clear during the campaigning where P Shetty had to face embarrassing questions by workers at some places.
Though CM Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G. Parameshwara were in his favour, but they too had to bow to the decision of the party high command.
K J Hegde said that he was confident of getting votes not only from the Congress-backed gram panchayat members but also from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Gram Panchayats.
He said that the gram panchayat members had won as independent candidates not on party symbols. Hence they could vote anyone.
“Some political parties are trying to frighten them by saying that their votes would be monitored. But it is a secret ballot. The Returning Officer should take steps to remove this fear of the voters,” he said.
On the Congress and the BJP asking gram panchayat members to cast only first preference votes to their respective candidates Shetty and Kota Srinivas Poojary, Hegde said that it was undemocratic and wrong on the parties to issue such a directive.
“The preferential voting system has been made available for the voters to vote according to their preference. I am aiming at getting the votes of all the voters,” he said.
Asked about the chances of his victory in the elections, Hegde said: “I expect that I will win with the first preference votes in the first round. Wherever I have gone for campaigning, I have only got positive response.”
On what he would do in case he got defeated, Hegde said that he would continue to work for the development of both the districts. “I have tasted defeat earlier also. I have worked as an Independent MLA. I know how to function without power. I have always remained in touch with the workers,” he said.