Mangaluru, May 16, 2018: At least 3 Congress candidates, it seems, had some knowledge that the elections were going to be tough and did not turn up at the counting centre at the T.A. Pai English Medium High School here May 15, Tuesday morning .
Normally candidates of political parties turn up at the counting centres early in the morning, when the counting begins.
They stay there if the trend is in their favour or make a hasty exit as soon as they sniff things might not be in their favour. Of course, some candidates are cautious and turn up at the centre only after the victory is assured.
Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister of State for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, and Congress candidate for Udupi Assembly Constituency, did not turn up at the counting centre. As did K. Gopal Poojary, Congress candidate from Byndoor seat, and H. Gopal Bhamndary, Congress candidate from Karkala seat, and all three of them lost.
Vinay Kumar Sorake, Congress candidate from Kaup, was the first to turn up at the centre by 7.15 a.m. and was later followed by Lalaji Mendon, BJP candidate from Kaup, Rakesh Malli, Congress candidate for Kundapur, and Raghupati Bhat, BJP candidate from Udupi. However, Mr. Malli sensed that he was losing and left the centre on the pretext of taking medicine and refused to talk to presspersons stating that the counting was still going on and he would not like to make any comment.
But Malli never returned. Sorake left after all rounds of counting were over, but he refused to speak to media. The Congress leaders, leaving the counting centre, however had to put up with chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ by the BJP workers when they left the centre.
B.M. Sukumar Shetty, BJP candidate for Byndoor, came to the centre after his lead had become unassailable.
Madhwaraj defeated by classmate : Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, also the Udupi district in charge Minister, suffered a defeat at the hands of his old schoolmate, K. Raghupati Bhat of the BJP by a margin of 12,044 votes in the Udupi Assembly constituency. Bhat polled 84,946 votes, while Madhwaraj got 72,902 votes. It is a tale of two classmates, who joined different parties, and then clashed against each other. Both Madhwaraj and Bhat were together from class 6 to class 10 in the English Medium High School here. Both have clashed twice in Assembly elections, and the street-smart Bhat has always got the better of the urbane and suave Madhwaraj.