Udupi, Feb 23, 2016: BJP - Bharatiya Janata Party nearly wiped out Congress in both zilla and taluk panchayat elections held in the district and the party has been able to retain Udupi zilla panchayat, Kundapur, Karkala and Udupi taluk panchayats respectively. The BJP has won 20 seats out of 26 seats in zilla panchayat while Congress won six seats as the two parties were locked in a keen contest.
In the last zilla panchayat elections, there were 25 seats and BJP had won 16 seats, while Congress had nine seats in its account. BJP got extra seats and Congress has lost some seats to BJP.
In taluk panchayat BJP has retained all three taluk panchayats with extra seats when compared to last election.
There are various factors that played the role in ensuring the second consecutive victory for BJP in zilla panchayat and also helped it in retaining all the three taluk panchayats. The first and the foremost, the ouster of former MP Jayaprakash Hegde from Congress was decisive. He and his supporters had a major impact in guaranteeing the BJP an easy win in Udupi-Brahmavara belt. The Jayaprakash Hegde factor indeed affected Congress in turn benefitting BJP. Most of the Congressmen were of the opinion that Hegde and his supports played the game to make Congress realise the mistake.
Out of the six seats won by Congress, three are in the constituency of the District In-charge Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, one in Udupi and two in Kundapur. The Congress defeat was BJP victory as Congress and BJP were the only two parties in direct fight. The other cause that played the role is Haladi joining the hands with BJP and backing its candidates. He was neutral in the parliamentary and Legislative Council elections. However, during the panchayat election, although he personally did not campaign for BJP candidates, he ensured that BJP candidates would get number of votes. He silently distributed pamphlets supporting BJP candidates. The other issue that grabbed the attention in the pre-poll scenario was the remarks made by district-in-charge minister, as Congress leaders say that the party was the victim fake propaganda. Sorake’s statements against the selection of Muslim candidates in the constituency gave the impression that Congress would surely fall prey for the anger from Muslim community voters, it is said.
The BJP victory during parliamentary elections ushered in a new ray of hope for the party, which continued the trend with gram panchayat elections, legislative council elections and finally with taluk and zilla panchayat elections. The failure of Congress district president Gopal Poojary in Byndoor belt has come in surprise for the Congress which was Congress strong forte.
The voters’ reluctance towards the electoral process and also to the political parties was clearly visible which was substantiated by high NOTA votes polled during zilla and taluk panchayat elections.
NOTA votes also played the decisive role in the winning factor of the candidates.
Mandarati zilla panchayat constituency recorded 804 NOTA votes and Brahmavar registered 727 NOTA votes. In Perdur, 515 NOTA votes were polled. As many 347 NOTA votes caste in Kota zilla panchayat constituency and 318 NOTA votes were polled in Udyavar.
Kalianpura zilla panchayat constituency reported 293 NOTA votes. In Kurkalu zilla panchayat constituency, 254 NOTA votes were polled. In Yellur, 271 NOTA votes were polled.
In Hiriyadka, 348 NOTA votes were reported and in Padubidri, 170 NOTA votes were cast. In Haladi, 797 NOTA votes were polled. The number of NOTA votes in other constituencies are as follows: 638 in Siddapura, 408 in Koteshwara, 530 in Beejadi, 474 in Byndoor, 345 in Trasi, 583 in Vandse. 396 in Kavradi, 327 in Kambadakone, and 282 in Shiroor.