Mangaluru, May 09, 2018: Prime educational institutions, medical colleges, engineering colleges, banks, dozens of industries, international airport and the New Mangalore Port, and much more shaped by the Western ethos has made Mangaluru since more centuries more than just another place in India - it has global thinking and local living.
Of the last 14 elections, from 1952 to 2013, the Congress has won nine times while the BJP has managed to win five times. In 13 out of 14 times, either a Christian or a Gowda Sarawath Brahmin (GSB) has won the polls, except in 1983 when V Dhananjaya Kumar won.
Lobo looks a frount runner : J R Lobo, sitting MLA, MCC former commissioner and one of the brains behind the Pilikula Nisargadhama, had said in 2013 that only the Congress could rebuild the dented image of Mangaluru. “Maintaining good law and order and development of Mangaluru would be my top priority,” Lobo had said, adding that he would try to give corruption-free administration.
Quite interestingly, many projects were realised during his period, including a second vented dam at Thumbe, a new block at Lady Goschen Hospital, a railway underbridge near Padil and a state-of-the-art planetarium at Pilikula. Lobo also succeeded in allotting over 900 Ashraya houses to beneficiaries.
Though the BJP and the CPM alleged that Lobo takes credit for Central government grants and projects and that he is involved in the Kudcemp scam, Lobo has given a fitting reply with documentary evidence thus proving that he is clean.
BJP woes : Inordinate delay in announcing the candidate, was a setback for the BJP. Slain RTI activist Vinayak Baliga’s sisters’ questions to the BJP seeking justice and the now expelled BJP leader Srikar Prabhu contesting as Independent are two other hurdles for the BJP. BJP candidate D Vedvyas Kamath, if elected, plans to solve beedi workers’ woes, develop infrastructure for small scale industries and UGD facilities in city.
Quite interestingly, Srikar Prabhu, who had been a BJP ticket aspirant, hopes to get 1,20,000 votes of the 2,40,000 electorate, even after excluding Congress and BJP voters (approximately 60,000 each).
Sunil Kumar Bajal (CPM), Ratnakar Suvarna (JDS), Mohammed Iqbal (MEP), Dharmendra (Akhila Bharath Hindu Mahasabha) and Independent candidates Madan M C (who resigned as police officer), Reena Pinto, Supreth Kumar Poojary and Mohammed Khaled hope that the voters will vote for a change.
At least 7 of 11 contestants know that they will lose deposit, and only a couple of them have the potential to change the election results.
Campaigners all : Hardly a few constituencies have witnessed high profile campaigners and Mangaluru South is one among them. Right from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to BJP National President Amit Shah to AICC president Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, several political heavyweights have campaigned here.
Will its polit(r)ics help BJP come to power in the region with the tag - “laboratory of communal politics” will be decided by the smart voters of the ‘smart city-to be,’
Meanwhile, the district administration is leaving no stone unturned to create an awareness on the right to exercise franchise.
Right from land to water (boat), DK DC and District Returning Officer Sasikumar Senthil and ZP CEO Dr M R Ravi have tried their best to increase voter awareness. Will the district administration succeed in increasing the voter turnout to 80%, if not 90-plus, from the average turnout of 60-70% in Mangaluru South, will be known in a matter of time.