Grooming Younger Leaders

Indira, Rajiv and later Narasimha Rao too observed my work and recognised my unwavering loyalty to the Congress party. So Rao used to seek my suggestions on lot of matters. While selecting candidates for Karnataka assembly elections, he used to proceed only after consulting me. I was very happy and thankful to the party High Command for giving respect to my suggestions.

I entered politics of coastal districts during seventies through Devaraj Urs and Indira Gandhi. Mr M Veerappa Moily and Mrs Manorama Madhwaraj had got opportunity much before me. Both were brought to politics by Urs. By 1980 Lok Sabha elections, Indira had distanced herself from Urs. It was a big challenge to strengthen Congress in coastal districts that time. DCC President A.Vishwanath owned this responsibility. I tried to identify young leaders and get them party tickets to contest different elections.

I got ticket for Mrs Suma Vasanth from Virajpet Constituency in 1985 assembly elections. Virajpet was under Mangaluru Lok Sabha Constituency then. She was doing fine as an MLA. Party fielded her again in 1989. She used to work really hard. One day I had gone to Virajpet for campaigning. After seeing a luke warm response for congress, I took local leaders including Suma Vasant to task.

That evening, I saw Suma Vasant's leg had swollen and it was bleeding. I could not sleep that night due to guilt of having shouted at them. I called everyone again next day and said 'sorry'. "Please excuse me. I should not have shouted at you," I told Suma Vasanth. At the same time, I also felt very happy that there are people who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the party. Suma became Minister in 1994. The High Command had postponed the swearing-in ceremony owing to my request to induct Suma Vasanth and Mr Blasius D'souza who had won from Mangaluru Constituency into the Cabinet.

I thought it was my duty to give power to those who are ready to work hard for the party. Apart from Suma Vasanth, Blasius D'souza, I put pressure on High Command to get ticket for G S Achar (Byndoor), Pratap Chandra Shetty (Kundapur), Basavaraj (Brahmavar), Vasant Salian (Kaup), Somappa Suvarna (Mulki-Moodbidri), U T Fareed, B A Idinabba, U T Khader, Mohammed Masood (Ullal), B Ramanath Rai (Bantwal), Vijayakumar Shetty (Surathkal) , Vinaykumar Sorake (Puttur) and Kushal (Sullia). I am grateful to the party High Command for considering my requests.

In 1980s, party's senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Dharam Singh were denied tickets to contest Assembly elections. I intervened in the matter and impressed upon the High Command to give them ticket. High Command's decision to consider my request was most satisfying as these leaders had worked hard for the party.

In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the High Command was searching for suitable candidate to take on H.D. Devegowda in Kanakapura constituency. I suggested the name of a journalist Tejaswini. She had made an excellent documentary on Kudroli temple. I knew she was a capable woman. High-command considered my request. A completely novice Tejaswini registered a surprise victory over former PM Devegowda.

I had recommended the names of J R Lobo and Moideen Bawa to Mangaluru South and Mangaluru North segment respectively in 2013 elections and the high command accepted the recommendations.

Copyrights © B. Janardhana Poojary        

Site best viewed at 1024 x 768 resolution in I.E 9 +, Mozilla 30 +, Google Chrome 30 +