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Countdown starts for elections to Mangalore City Corporation

Staff Correspondent

Notification issued; parties preparing to release their manifestos


MANGALORE: Countdown for the September 28 elections to Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) Council has begun with M. Maheshwar Rao, Deputy Commissioner and the Election Officer, issuing the notification on Monday.

Notifications were also issued for elections to town municipal councils of Ullal, Moodbidri, Bantwal and Puttur, and town panchayats of Belthangady and Sullia, to be held on the same day. With this, the candidates will be able to file their nominations.

In 2002, the Congress emerged victorious in elections for 42 wards while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won in 14 followed by independent candidates in four wards. Later, two independent corporators, Deepak K. Poojary from ward number 18 (Kavoor) and Nafisa B. Abubakkar from ward number 43 (Kudroli), had joined the Congress, taking the strength of the party in the council to 44. The Congress ruled the corporation for five years.M. Shashidhar Hegde from Derebail-South (ward number 24), took charge as the Mayor on June 17, 2002. K. Diwakar from Kadri (ward number 32) succeeded him as the second Mayor on June 28, 2003. Purandaradasa Kuloor from Derebail-North (ward 17) became the third Mayor when he assumed the office on June 22, 2004. K. Ashraf from Bunder (ward 44) was the fourth Mayor who took charge on July 25, 2005. Vijaya Arun from Kadri Padavu (ward 22) was the fifth and final Mayor of the MCC as she took charge on Ocotber 25, 2006. Her term ended on June 17, 2007.

Mr. Rao was then appointed as the administrator of the corporation. The BJP has announced its first list of 26 candidates for the election while the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) are yet to release their lists. No party has released manifesto.

The Congress will be under a changed leadership in the district. Last week, the party high command appointed B. Ramanatha Rai, former Minister, as the president of Dakshina Kannada District Congress Committee (DCC), replacing Blasius M D’Souza, MLC. At a press conference here on Monday, Mr. Rai said that his priority was to face the elections to civic bodies in the district. He claimed that there was no difference of opinion in the district unit.

At a separate press conference on Sunday, B. Sadananda Poonja, vice-president of the DCC, said that the party would announce its list of candidates by September 14. However, addressing presspersons on Monday, Mr. Rai did not commit a date for announcing the list and the manifesto. He said the list had to be approved by the higher-ups and that it might take some time. Mr. Rai refused to comment on Mr. Poonja’s statement. Meanwhile, K.B. Balaraj Rai, president of the district unit held a meeting of the party here on Monday and discussed the poll-strategy.

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