Report by BJP survey team spoilt Nalin Kumar's chances: Sources
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Feb 28: On February 25, daijiworld had reported that sitting MP Nalin Kumar Kateel from BJP was likely to lose his ticket to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from Mangalore. The report stirred much debate, and a day later, the district BJP shot off a press release insisting that Nalin Kumar was still the party's choice for the parliamentary elections.
However, highly placed sources close to the BJP high command in Delhi have confirmed to daijiworld that the party would in all likelihood change its candidate from Mangalore, taking into account a report prepared by a private survey agency hired by the BJP high command. In other words, Nalin Kumar Kateel's candidature still hangs in the balance.
In fact, a senior leader within the BJP, who did not want to be named, told daijiworld that if Nalin Kumar's candidature was indeed finalized, why should BJP worry about media reports and issue press notes? He said that the party spokesperson's haste in issuing the release has further fuelled speculations surrounding Nalin Kumar's candidature and given a hint that all was not well within the BJP. He even went on to say that press release was nothing but an 'eyewash' and a 'damage control exercise'.
Meanwhile, others names have emerged as possible candidates to replace Nalin Kumar. Advodate P P Hegde, Dr Bharath Shetty and Rajesh Naik from Bantwal are among the prominent names doing the rounds, party sources said.
According to authentic sources, BJP high command on the directions of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has hired a private agency to conduct a survey on the credibility and winnability of a candidate in each constituency across the country. The survey team that arrived in Dakshina Kannada district to gather information on the sitting MP reportedly found major drawbacks that compelled the party to have second thoughts about Nalin Kumar Kateel.
Key elements of the report divulged by the sources state that Nalin Kumar Kateel has shown inefficiency in the parliament, with his presence being hardly felt in the discussions that take place in the House. Moreover,
the language barrier he faces has played a pivoting part while framing the report, said sources.
It is said in the report that Nalin Kumar as an MP has sidelined the party workers taking less consideration of their views and even some times without responding to their calls. When the survey team contacted the party workers, they expressed discontent over Nalin Kumar, with some of them even saying that they would refrain from campaigning if he were chosen as the candidate. According to sources, the survey team found that nearly 70 percent of the party workers are unhappy with his candidature.
One of the positive points that work in Nalin's favour is the fact that he is one of the few MPs in the country, who used the grants under MP's Fund to the maximum. He has reportedly used almost Rs 20 crore from his MP Fund quota.
Moreover, the RSS think tank of the state is pitching a strong battle to retain the ticket for Nalin Kumar, though the opinion may not be unanimous among RSS cadres. Sources also confirmed that BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has vociferously instructed every constituency to choose a prominent and credible candidate as per the reports prepared by the survey agency. This instruction issued has forced the think tank to reconsider its decision. It is said that RSS decision makers have also found an alternative candidate to replace Nalin Kumar, just in case.
The denial of reports on Nalin losing the ticket is a political strategy and the blame game against the Congress party would be played till the end with more press releases and press meets, sources said.