Independents may play a major role in outcome of results
April 22, 2013, DHNS; Mangalore Assembly constituency is etched in the history of India as well as that of the world thanks to Rani Abbakka, who had ruled this part of the region in 16th century. Also, three universities, two medical colleges, two dental colleges and two engineering colleges make this constituency an education hub.
This constituency was referred to as ‘Mangalore 2’ in the first general elections. In 1978, it was renamed as Ullal and in 2008, it was called as Mangalore, after the delimitation of constituencies.
The constituency appears to be a pocket borough of the Congress as it has won in 10 out of 13 elections (including a by-election in 2007). Once the BJP and twice left parties managed victories in this constituency. Except in 1957, the Congress has fielded only a Muslim candidate in the previous elections.
The Mangalore Assembly constituency has 12 candidates from minority communities, including one Christian, in the fray.
In 2008 polls, nine tested the electoral waters and of five Muslim candidates, U T Khader was successful.
Other Muslims were Nazeer Ullal from the JD(S), Abdul Hameed Ullal from the BSP and J Muhammed and Abdul Khader, both independents. While Khader secured 50,718 votes, the other Muslim candidates together polled only 4,622.
U T Khader, the sitting MLA, said: “Like last time, in this elections too, the voters will show whom they back. I am not unduly worried and I am confident that voters have seen my work and will surely vote for me.”
Independent Kabeer Ullal, at a press meet, had said: “We don’t want Khader as our representative. He has done nothing for the people of Ullal.”
Acute shortage of water in the summer and sea erosion during the monsoon are the major problems in the constituency. Poor progress in the UGD work in Ullal TMC limits, pathetic condition of the National Highway which passes through the constituency owing to incomplete work on four-laning of the road from Kundapur to Talapady and non-distribution of title deeds for the residents of SC/ST colonies are some of the major issues agitating the minds of voters.
When contacted, BJP candidate Chadrahas Ullal said “the Congress candidate has not helped to change the lives of the residents. The failure of the sitting MLA to provide basic infrastructure facilities will help me. The entire minority community is against him. If I am elected, I will give top priority for implementation of multi-village drinking water scheme which the State government approved a few months ago. The scheme will benefit 18 villages, including Mudipu, Konaje and Someshwar, which face acute shortage of water.”
“Though over 100 Ashraya houses were constructed in Ombatukere in Ullal, it was not distributed among the poor. Instead of constructing the houses without basic facilities and poor ventilation, land could have been given to the poor,” said a resident of Ombathukere.
KJP candidate Kallekkar Guthu Ravindra Shetty said that the maladministration of the BJP and the Congress in the last several decades has failed to solve the problems of the people and they are craving for a change. Though the government had given sites and houses under its housing schemes in Chembugudde, Ashraya colony in Harekala, Someshwara, the residents of the colony are still waiting for title deeds. Hence, they are denied of several facilities from the government.” Akram Hasan of the SDPI, who is trying his luck, believes in value-based politics. He said: “We do not make false promises to the voters nor to party hoppers. We believe in the principles of democracy and secularism and propagate the same.”
Barring those from major political parties, others are sure to lose their deposit. But they can dent the chances of at least a couple of candidates in the event of winning margin is very narrow. Will the voters give a chance to other political party or return the Congress is a million dollar question.
(Naina J A)