Mangaluru, Apr 02, 2019: The Congress campaign in Dakshina Kannada has got a shot in the arm with minister D K Shivakumar joining it.
Believed to be instrumental in the party fielding Youth Congress president, Mithun Rai, from the constituency, Mr Shivakumar was all praise for him at a rally in the city.
Insisting that Mr Rai was the right candidate for Parliament as he was not out to be a "leader," but believed in working with them for the constituency, he was strongly critical of the BJP MPs from the coast.
Reflecting on his close association with the coastal region and its leaders, Mr Shivakumar strongly objected to the "divide and rule policy" of the Bharatiya Janata Party and attacked not just Dakshina Kannada MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel, but also other sitting MPs, Shobha Karandlaje and DV Sadananda Gowda from the district.
Raking up the issue of the merger of the Vijaya Bank with Bank or Baroda, Mr Shivakumar blamed the MPs for being mute spectators while it was carried out.
"When the Union government refused to give special status to Andhra Pradesh, five MPs from the YSR Congress resigned. But DV Sadananda Gowda, Nalin Kumar Kateel and Shobha Karandlaje remained silent on the Vijaya Bank issue. They should have resigned when it was merged with the Bank of Baroda," he said.
Aware that the BJP is backed by the Billava or Idiga community in the coastal belt, the minister added, "When I was on my way to Mangaluru, a Bharatiya Janata Party supporter complained that it had not fielded a Billava for the election and was happy that the Congress had fielded BK Hariprasad and Madhu Bangarappa from the community."