MANGALORE: The Dakshina Kannada district unit of Congress is all set for a mini poll ahead of the April 17 Lok Sabha elections. As many as 35 Congress corporators will lay their claim to become the mayor of Mangalore City Corporation when elections to the post are held on March 13.

The battle for the post of mayor will ensure that the 60 corporators, who were elected in March 2013, see some action. Thanks to protracted legal battle over reservation roster for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor, the elected council could not meet for the last one year and fortunes of the city was vested in the authority of the deputy commissioner, who was its administrator.

The post of mayor has been set aside for a general candidate, making all the 35 Congress corporators eligible to contest. The post of deputy mayor is reserved for a general candidate (woman). The 60-member house has 20 BJP members, two JD(S) members, one member each from CPI(M) and SDPI, and an independent. Incidentally, the current reservation is an exact reversal of the roster announced earlier and one that would have seen a woman Congress corporator become the mayor.

However, the Congress is yet to take a final call on whom it will pick for the post. Mangalore City South MLA J R Lobo said, “We will cross the bridge when we come to it.” The psarty sources said it could be a faceoff between two senior Congress corporators – Harinath and Lancelot Pinto. A senior Congress leader said, “A final decision will be taken mostly on March 12 as the party leadership is now busy with the Congress primaries.”

Lancelot said if seniority is the criteria, he should have a good chance. However, it is for the party to decide, he added.

Harinath, who bandied the seniority line, said he will abide by the decision that the party leadership will take.

Lancelot, once fielded by the Congress for Mangalore City South constituency, said corporators including Harinath will get a chance in the future, and for him it will be the sole shot at the post due to the nature of reservation roster.

Courtesy: Times of India