Among eight Assembly constituencies in Dakshina Kannada, two have different characters in electing their MLAs. If Sullia has been sending the same person for about two-and-half decades making it one-man show, Mangaluru (erstwhile Ullal) has stuck to dynasty politics for at least three decades.
Among the candidates elected in this year’s election six are first timers, with three new faces, and two are incumbent MLAs.
Umanath Kotian, 58, from Moodbidri; Rajesh Naik U., 59, in Bantwal; and Sanjeeva Mantandoor, 57, from Puttur, all from the BJP, faced the Assembly election for the second time after losing it in 2013 from the same constituencies. BJP’s Y. Bharat Shetty, 47, from Mangaluru City North; D. Vedavyasa Kamath, 40, from Mangaluru City South and Harish Poonja, 36, from Belthangady, the new faces, got elected in their first attempt.
S. Angara, 54, of the BJP, who won from Sullia for the sixth consecutive term, remains the senior most elected member in the district now. Mr. Angara, who had contested for the first time in 1989, did not win. He has been winning from Sullia, reserved for a Scheduled Castes candidate, since 1994, making the constituency a citadel of the BJP. His margin of win jumped from 1,373 votes in 2013 to 26,068 votes in 2018. The margin of win was 4,322 votes in 2008 election.
In the family
The only constituency in the district where politics has been running in a family is Mangaluru. The late U.T. Fareed and his son U.T. Abdul Khader, both from the Congress, have together been elected representatives from the same constituency for 29 years. Mr. Fareed, who first got elected in 1972, was re-elected three times (1978, 1999 and 2004) making it a tenure of 18 years with several intervals. Mr. Khader who has now been elected for the fourth consecutive time, has been MLA for 11 years from the 2007 by-election held following the death of his father.
The winning margin of Mr. Khader, former Minister for Food and Civil Supplies and Health and Family Welfare, decreased from 29,111 votes in 2013 election to 19,739 votes in this year’s election. His winning margin was 7,049 votes in 2008 election.