Mangalore/Udipi/Kodagu/Chickmagalur,May 11: Just as the ‘Lotus’ bloomed in 2008 elections in the coastal districts, the ‘Hand’ crushed it this year, in spite of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj visiting the port city.
While the Congress managed to sweep seven out of the eight seats in Dakshina Kannada (DK), it managed to bag three out of five seats in Udupi. Congress won 10 out of 13 constituencies in the two coastal districts.
The only saviours for the BJP were S Angara in Sullia (only seat to win in DK) and Sunil Kumar in Karkala (only seat to win in Udupi). Independent Haladi Srinivas Shetty (BJP rebel) proved that the person is important in Kundapur than the party.
While U T Khader (Congress, Mangalore) managed to defeat his arch rival Chandrahas Ullal (BJP) by a whopping margin of 29,111 votes, five-time MLA B Ramanath Rai managed to defeat Rajesh Naik (BJP) by a margin of 17,850, upsetting all calculations, despite strong backing from RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat.
DVS prestige at stake
The BJP got another jolt in the form of T Shakunthala Shetty in Puttur, who secured 66,345 votes against her arch rival (former co-worker) Sanjeeva Matandoor (62,056). In fact, Puttur was also considered as a prestige issue for D V Sadananda Gowda, who was elected twice from here.
Though the BJP was (over)confident of their victory through former deputy speaker N Yogish Bhat and former minister J Krishna Palemar, political novices – former Commissioner J R Lobo (Mangalore South) and B A Mohiuddin Bava (Mangalore North) registered victory against the veterans. In Udupi district, Congress wrested (from BJP) Udupi (Pramod Madhwaraj), Kaup (Vinay Kumar Sorake) and Byndoor (Gopal Poojary).
K G Bopaiah of the BJP won in Virajpet, against B T Pradeep (Congress). Bopaiah is the second candidate in Virajpet to register a hat-trick. The only other person to achieve a hat-trick was G K Subbaiah, who won in 1972, 1978 and 1983.
In Madikeri, M P Appachu Ranjan (BJP-56,696) managed to defeat veteran B A Jeevijaya (JDS-52,067), thus pushing the Congress candidate K M Lokesh (32,313) to third position.
While the BJP (C T Ravi, Chikmagalur and D N Jeevaraj, Sringeri) and JD-S (Y S V Datta, Kadur and B B Ningaiah, Mudigere) shared two seats each in Chikmagalur district, the Congress managed to win only one seat (G H Srinivas, Tarikere).
Datta’s victory stands out as he managed to defeat his nearest rival Belli Prakash (KJP) by a margin of 42,433 votes.
He believes his professed love for politics and not money has helped him push the Congress and the BJP to losing positions.