BJP wins 6 and congress 2 seats of 8 seats in Dakshina Kannada district

10:12 PM, Saturday, May 13th, 2023


Mangaluru : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had a tally of seven of eight seats in Dakshina Kannada in 2018, managed six this time, losing Puttur due to dissidence within the BJP in the district, represented by the Karnataka president and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel.

While former minister UT Khader scripted a fifth straight win, it was a chance outing for Puttur’s Congress candidate Ashok Kumar Rai, thanks to the rebel independent Arun Kumar Puthila.

Sitting MLAs D Vedavyas Kamath from Mangaluru City South, Dr Bharath Shetty Y from Mangaluru city North, Harish Poonja from Belthangady and Rajesh Naik Bantwal retained their seats. Bhagirathi Murulya, a fresh face, has won from Sullia constituency.

Belthangady incumbent MLA Harish Poonja maintained a lead from the beginning, even though a neck-to-neck fight was expected between young turks Poonja and Rakshith Shivaram of Congress. An aggressive battle was fought in the constituency, which was evident from the fact that during pre and post-polls minor clashes were reported among BJP and Congress workers. Poonja won by securing 1,01,004 votes against Shivaram who bagged 82,788 votes. Among other contenders, SDPI managed to bag 2,513 votes.

The election scene in Moodbidri gained prominence as Congress fielded Mithun Rai who had contested the last Lok Sabha election. Also, this is the only constituency in Dakshina Kannada that saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi and AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaign. Incumbent MLA Umananth Kotian of the BJP won over Rai with a margin of 22,468 votes. While Kotian bagged 86,925 votes, Rai secured 64,457 votes. Former Minister Abhaychandra Jain who represented the constituency from 1999-2018, ensured the ticket was given to Rai only.

Another key constituency that was expecting a triangular fight ended up in a landslide victory for the BJP. Bharath Shetty of BJP recorded a massive win by a margin of 32,922 votes against Congress candidate Inayath Ali who secured 70,609 votes. Former MLA BA Mohiuddin Bava who contested from the JD(S) got only 5,256 votes.

Vedavyas Kamath retained his seat by securing 91,437 votes. He won by a margin of 23,962 votes against former MLA JR Lobo of the Congress who bagged 67,475 votes. Kamath has managed to increase his margin compared to the 2018 election when he defeated Lobo by 16075 votes.

In Bantwal constituency, the emotional appeal by veteran Congress leader B Ramanath Rai failed to convince the voters. Rai, the six-time MLA managed to secure only 85,042 votes against Rajesh Naik of the BJP who bagged 93,324 votes.

The BJPs experiment of replacing a six-time MLA and minister S Angara with an ordinary woman party worker Bhagirathi Murulya yielded promising result for the party. Bhargirathi bagged 93,911 votes against Congress candidate G Krishnappa, who got 63,037 votes. While Angara had won by a margin of 26,068 votes in 2018, Bhagirathi won by a margin of 30,874 votes this time. Another factor for her increased victory margin could be the dissidence within the Congress party as a faction of the workers were unhappy with Congress fielding Krishnappa. Bhagirathi thanking party workers who toiled hard for her victory said, “I will continue the development works carried out by my predecessor S Angara”.

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