Mangaluru, April 20, 2018: After causing much curiosity and keeping the people of the state on tenterhooks Karnataka State BJP finally released its 3rd and last list of candidates. The list contains names of candidates for 59 constituencies including three that were kept pending in Dakshina Kannada District and two in Udupi district. As far as DK is concerned, BJP had earlier withheld the nominations for three key constituencies covering Mangaluru city.
Santosh Kumar Rai, Vedavyas Kamath and Dr. Bharath Shetty
The third list projects Vedavyas Kamath as the candidate for Mangaluru City South, Dr. Bharath Shetty Mangaluru City North and Santosh Kumar Rai for Mangaluru (Ullal) . They will be pitted against their main rivals J. R. Lobo, Mohideen Bawa and minister U. T. Khadar, all incumbent Congress MLAs. All three BJP nominees are fresh faces who have never faced an election before. Vedavyas Kamath replaces four-time MLA N. Yogish Bhat, while Dr. Bharath Shetty replaces former District Incharge minister J. Krishna Palemar.
The BJP nominations for DK seats, especially Mangaluru City South, had turned into a guessing game for the last few weeks as there were said to be several contenders who were vying with each other for the seats. The release of the third least finally puts all the speculations to rest.
For Udupi district, Raghupathi Bhat is the nominee for Udupi constituency and Lalaji Mendon for Kaup. Both the candidates are old timers and are pitted against minister Pramod Madhwaraj and ex-minister Vinay Kumar Sorake of Congress respectively.
Raghupathi Bhat had dropped out of the race in the last assembly election after an infamous sex CD had surfaced allegedly featuring him. Though Bhat had denied the contents of the CD, he had voluntarily backed out ‘to protect the party’s honour’.
BJP’s third list also contains a change of candidate in Kolar Gold Field Constituency, where S. Ashwini is projected as the new candidate.