Udupi-Chikmagalur Bypoll - Stakes High for Major Contenders

Udupi-Chikmagalur Bypoll - Stakes High for Major Contenders
Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi

Udupi, Mar 17: About 12.45 lakh voters of Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency who will vote in the by poll scheduled for March 18th, will play a decisive role in giving a clear orientation to the political spectrum of Karnataka. The results of this bypoll assume importance mainly because it is viewed as a precursor for the forthcoming assembly and subsequent parliamentary elections. The results of this by- elections are sure to have far-reaching repercussions in Karnataka’s volatile political landscape.

Though there are 15 candidates in the fray, the stakes are high for the three major political parties - BJP, Congress and JD(S), which are pitted against one another in this election. For the scandal-tainted and BJP reeling under internal strife and open revolt by its former chief minister BSY, it will be an opportunity to test its popularity. For the Congress, which has almost faded into oblivion in the state, a win here would be a morale booster to its entire rank and file. After its debacle in the recent assembly elections in 3 states Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has clearly stated that its next focus would be on Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency. For long, Chikmagalur was Congress party’s fortress and the party is trying every possible trick to wrest it. This is evident from the fact that Congress bigwigs both central and state under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi’s close confidant Oscar Fernandes, are on the campaign trail in the constituency.

For the father son duo of JD (S) Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy this bypoll will set the tempo for the party’s the 2013 assembly elections as the party is trying to expand its support base and emerge as a major player in the political canvas of the state. For JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda who is 80 plus this election will be an acid test and a good show here would clearly set the stage for the battle ahead – the 2013 assembly elections in the state and install his son in the chief minister’s gaddi.
There are individual stakes involved too as a win for BJP would help Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to assert his supremacy and strengthen his position against former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and his coterie. This bypoll is the first real acid test for the leadership of Sadananda Gowda because the election was is warranted by his vacating the seat soon after becoming the Chief Minister and it is believed that of Yeddyurappa’s men are working clandestinely to defeat its own party candidate.

Narrow win in its Fortress
For the BJP this coastal belt has proved to be its lucky mascot as Udupi was the first place where BJP (erstwhile Jana Sangh) had registered its first victory in any municipal elections in South India, thus sowing the seeds for the party’s growth. Even in the last assembly elections it had reaped rich rewards by winning 7 of the eight assembly constituencies of this Lok Sabha constituency. Interestingly, Sunil Kumar was the only candidate who lost the assembly seat Karkala in 2008, is the party’s candidate for the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha by-election.

The situation this time around is different from what it was in 2008 in many ways. The only factor that was similar to the last election was the candidature of Congress candidate Jayaprakash Hegde who lost the last elections by merely 27,000 votes against BJP’s D V Sadananda Gowda, who was then BJP’s state President. As the constituency was new to D V S who had shifted from Mangalore to Udupi-Chickmagalur following delimitation, the entire Sangh Parivar had worked steadfastly to ensure his victory. Despite the presence of JD(S) candidate Boje Gowda, the real fight is going to be between the BJP and the Congress.
Sadananda Gowda was BJP’s candidate in 2008 and this time BJP has fielded former MLA Sunil Kumar who in fact satisfies the aspirations of people of both Udupi and Chikmagalur. Sunil was brought up and educated in Chikmagalur and that satisfies major grouse of people of that area and would be advantageous to the party. As BJP’s Karkala MLA, he is well known to the people of Udupi district also.

Udupi-Chickmagalur constituency has 8 assembly segments. The coastal belt has Udupi, Karkala, Kaup and Kundapur assembly segments while Malnad region has Mudigere, Chckmagalur, Sringeri ad Tarikere assemblies.
It may be remembered that Sadananda Gowda had faced stiff competition of Jayaprakash Hegde in 2008. Though JD (S) did not field its candidate then and it had extended its support to CPI candidate Radha Sundaresh, who had bagged about 25,000 votes and this vote was said to be crucial in the defeat of Jayaprakash Hegde.
Speaking to daijiworld.com BJP candidate Sunil Kumar stated that he is confident of his victory. “I bank on the 4 years achievement of our government and its people-friendly policies which have struck a chord among the poorer sections of the people”. He said neither the internal strife within the BJP nor the refusal of B S Yeddyurappa to campaign will have any bearing on his prospects. “I am a consensus candidate of the party and I have the blessings of all including Yeddyurappa. The good work of my party is sure to give me the advantage over my political opponents”, Sunil Kumar pointed out.
The constituency is dominated by Billavas in the coastal town of Udupi and Edigas in the Malnad region and both belong to the same category. Political parties, at least the BJP has taken this fact into consideration while choosing Sunil Kumar who is a Billava and has drawn the first blood. For the Congress ticket names of B L Shankar, Vinay Kumar Sorake and Taradevi apart from Jayaprakash Hegde were making rounds but finally Jayaprakash Hegde, known for his clean image, vast experience and affable nature, was chosen over other aspirants.

Hegde’s Clean Reputation
Jayaprakash Hegde speaking to daijiworld.com expressed confidence of winning the by-election by a margin of not less than 50,000 votes. “The political mood is different in this election due to various political developments in the course of last four years. It is not right to say the presence of JD(S) will be to our disadvantage as there is every possibility that JD(S) may take away votes of disgruntled BJP supporters. Moreover there are almost 70,000 votes of Lingayats who will play spoilsport for BJP”, Hegde stated. He also said that BJP which is facing internal revolt has lost the support of its traditional voters. He also said that his party has won over the loyalty of fishermen who form a sizeable chunk of voters. “The good work done by me in the past is helping me now and I am confident the people of the constituency will elect me with a good margin”, Hegde declared.

The caste factor is sure to play a pivotal role in this by-election. There are about 70,000 Lingayat votes and about 80,000 votes of Vokkaligas and Dalits each apart from billavas who form of the majority of voters. Due to Yeddyurappa factor Lingayats supporting the BJP is doubtful and who they will vote will be interesting to watch out. Muslims, Brahmins and Kurubas also have almost same number of voters and whichever party is able to win over allegiance and convert them into votes will romp home to victory. Since JD (S) has fielded a Vokkaliga candidate one expects the community to vote for the candidate. Needless to say JD(S) is banking on the support of Vokkaligas, Muslims and Dalits. It means there is every chance of JD(S) candidate polling a sizeable portion of votes and that is not good news for Sunil Kumar or Jayaprakash Hegde.

The RSS has a strong base in Udupi-Chikmagalur and its cadre is known for carrying out a systematic but low-key campaign and that is the plus point for Sunil Kumar. Congress is however, banking on Hegde’s clean image and the scandal-ridden rule of the BJP. The fact that he had lost by a narrow margin last time has bolstered the party morale. The party leaders have buried their differences (at least for the time being) presenting a façade of collective leadership during the election campaign.
Needless to say the stakes are high for the major contenders in the fray. The BJP wants to bask in the glory of its past record and maintain the momentum of victory as a defeat here would spoil the candidate’s prospects for 2013 assembly elections apart from making Sadananda Gowda’s position shaky. For the Congress the misrule or non-governance and the many scandals of BJP have provided enough fodder to attack its major opponent and brighten its own prospects.
The ball is now in the court of the electorate and March 18 will decide who is going to win the fruits of the hard labour.


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Comment on this article

  • ravindra, mangalore

    Sun, Mar 18 2012

    Dear voters, think twice and right candidate and vote 100% (meaning of Idiot is greek "those who do not vote")

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prashanth, Madamakki/Tripura

    Sun, Mar 18 2012

    Pls vote BJP.....new ambition & new goal ........Sunil kumar is young ldr in BJP......nice sunday frnds

    DisAgree [10] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • lenson, Kundapur/Africa

    Sun, Mar 18 2012

    If Jayaprakash hegde wins it is becoz of him, not becoz of congress...some extent becoz of BJP issues in govt....DVS became CM is one of the disadv. for Hegde, but still he can win....

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Louis, Kuwait

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Satish Kundapur, bcz HDK cheated BSY public showed sympathy towards BJP. This it's JP n not BJP.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Louis, Kuwait

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    ನೆನಪಿಡಿ- ಬೇಡ ಬಿಜೆಪಿ, ಈ ಬಾರಿ ಜೆಪಿ.
    ಉಡುಪಿ-ಚಿಕ್ಕಮಗಳೂರು ಲೋಕಸಭಾ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಗೆಳೆಯರೆ,
    ಈ ಬಾರಿಯ ಉಪ-ಚುನಾವಣೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಮರ್ಥ, ದಕ್ಷ ಅಭರ್ಥಿ ಮತ್ತು ಸಜ್ಜನ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿ ಜಯಪ್ರಕಾಶ್ ಹೆಗ್ಡೆಯವರಿಗೆ ಮತ ನೀಡಿ ಲೋಕಸಭೆಗೆ ಆರಿಸಿ ಕಳುಹಿಸಿ. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ವಿಧಾನಸಭೆಯಲ್ಲಿರುವಾಗಲೇ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಕಂಡ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಅಪರೂಪದ ಪ್ರತಿಭಾವಂತ ಮತ್ತು ಸಮರ್ಥ ಶಾಸಕ-ಸಚಿವರೆನಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ತಮ್ಮ ಮಾತು, ಚರ್ಚೆ, ಜನಪರ ಕೆಲಸಗಳ ಮೂಲಕ ಕೇವಲ ಕರಾವಳಿ ಮಾತ್ರವಲ್ಲದೆ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಾದ್ಯಂತ ಜನಪ್ರಿಯರಾಗಿದ್ದ ಹೆಗ್ಡೆ ಈಗ ಲೋಕಸಭೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಭಾಗವನ್ನು ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಪರಿಣಾಮಕಾರಿಯಾಗಿ ಪ್ರತಿನಿಧಿಸಲು ಸಜ್ಜಾಗಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಬೇಕಾಗಿń

    DisAgree [9] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Satish Kunder, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Dear Voters,

    Please elect a honest, capable person as your MP who can be your voice in the parliament. Your MP should be a man who can unite the people of the constituency irrespective of caste, creed or reigion.

    Your vote is precious. Make a right choice. It will be the victory of the people only when you have a representative who has clean political history behind him.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lexy Saldanha, Mangaluru-Sydney/Australia

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    We think this bypoll Udupi/Chickmagalur is hard to predict, could go either way, Yedurappa factor may not effect this election, it is lots to do with caste & money power. Most importantly this election is not about BJP, it has lots to do with CM Sadananda factor, he has vacated the seat, as he was made CM, with strong support of Yedurappa, and now he has to prove himself that he is mass leader, who can win the election on his own, a defeat for BJP will be a blow to Sadananda Gowda, and then Yedurappa will put his pressure to sack him, and thus paving the way for assembly election as early has end of this yr 2012.
    We are certain that radical BJP will win by slim margin, unfortunately clean image of a candidate never works in an election, just look at recent UP, Punjab, Goa assembly elections, most of clean decent candidates lost the election. So guys just wait till 21 March you will know the fate of Sadananda Gowda BJP Karnataka politics, as well as Congress parties effort.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ratan, Sullia

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Readers, please do not campagin here in this forum as any campaign beyond 16th Mar is violation of election code of conduct.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • deepa suvarna, udupi

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    am requesting to all indian citizen please don't see the party see the person and put your valuable vote for the right candiates....we have only 1 independent rights tht is choosing good leader !

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Louis, Kuwait

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    JPH we need him in Udupi Chikmanglore constituency to maintain peace n harmony. BJP will create one more Manglore in peaceful holy place Udupi. Sunil Kumar is rejected by Karkala people for his RSS connection. Udupi people want development and not communal clashes.
    Hegde is a symbol of peace, simple, friendly, immediate action on complaints. No empty promises. Is the 1st to visit Tarikere. No any party want to listen to the problems of Tarikere but Hegde did. He will findva amicable solution to their problems soon. National high way 66 project in full swing. Hold Hegdes hand n build our nation. Say no to corrupt BJP. They want to please public with Rave party's. I feel it's my duty to support Mr. Hegde for the development he made at my native place since last 14 yrs. I don't mind he is independent, in congress or In BJP. I will vote for him when ever he files nomination as MP or MLA. My BJP friends know me when ever they do good work I will vote for them at Gram panchyat level they have done well I appreciate their work. But MP n MLA's have failed to deliver goods.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • shahnawaz kukkikatte, dubai/udupi

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Its very tight rope walk for both BJP and Congress whilst the independants and JDS are game spoliers. By looking at the personal credentials of the candidates Mr JPH of congress has an edge over Mr Sunil Kumar of BJP. None the less loss and victory are two sides of the same coin and one has to concede the defeat and such victory or defeat should be seen at in the right spirit of democracy. Dont hurt anyones sentiments and dont do any personal attack whilst bringing out victory procession. The lost candidate should first reach out to the winning candidate and congratulate him and winning candidate must reach out to the losing candidate and must be receptive in approaching him. At the end of the day, we have to live in peace and we have to carry on with out daily affairs... Let peace and harmony prevail during and post voting. No violence and no blood shed. Please show to the world that we are truly peace lovers and we believe in democracy...All the best to both of you JPH and VSK....

    DisAgree [5] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prakash , Uppinangady / Dubai

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Requesting people of Udupi / Chickmagalur constituency to cast their vote for the HONEST, ABLE candidate (do not see which party he belongs to)
    Please wake up and Be Mature

    DisAgree [4] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Venance A.J. Crasta, Udyavara / Bangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Mr. Jayaprakash Hegde is a gem of a person. He speaks about what he has done, what he is doing and what he will do. How nice to think over it. I request all the voters to vote for Mr. Jayaprakash Hegde and send him to Loksabha as MP from Udupi-Chikmagalore. Voters.. Please think that this for MP seat and not MLA. We need good leader. Please forget about Parties.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • satish, kundapur

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Louis, Kuwait
    I agree with you but right man in wrong party.if he contests from BJP definitely he will win.then why he lost in last election.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh shetty, mangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012


    DisAgree [29] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Walter Lobo, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    BJP has better chance copmared to Congress as they are in power plus the people give the preference to religion than development

    DisAgree [16] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Mar 17 2012


    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Basheer , Sullia

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    I hope, this time Udupi-Chikamagalore voters show their maturity by electing Mr. Hegde as their preventative in Parliament. Requesting all voters to vote for JPH for two reasons – 1. JPH has more suitable as people representative as he proved while he had power as well as during non-power politics. 2. Since UPA in power, better to elect the candidate from ruling party which helps the constituency to get more development funds. Cast, Religion, God, Goddess, Nationality, Ideology are only showoffs – it does not have place in present day politics.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • aman, mangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    congres victory is guarantee. congres wil win with big margin

    DisAgree [18] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Louis, Kuwait

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    There is just one candidate who can show the developments he already did in Udupi. Just open Jayaprakash Hegde snap on Daijiworld home page n click on the video clip, Hegde says I won't comment on other candidates but what I have done n what I am doing n what I am going to do? That's good. But BJP n JDS are busy in commenting against Hegde as they don't have anything else to offer to the people of Udupi n Chickmanglore. So please watch the pictures n video n watch yourself what Mr. Hegde has done for Udupi n vote for him for more developments. Thank you.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/ Mumbai

    Thanks for acknowledging BJP is camel and congress is donkey..

    Appreciate your honest opinion..

    DisAgree [30] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Mar 17 2012



    DisAgree [40] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/ Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Dinesh, Between the Camel and Donkey the Camel has a better chance of winning.......

    DisAgree [18] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/ Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Let the guy who is least corrupt win........

    DisAgree [1] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdul samad, mangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012


    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    BJP's victory is guarantee..

    DisAgree [56] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • mahendra shetty, mumbai,Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    All the best to Sunil Kumar....no competition is here...BJP will win one sidedly......in Karnataka and in India People are fed up with Congress......

    DisAgree [20] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • SRINATH, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    JP & JP & ONLY JP!!!!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Venance A.J. Crasta, Udyavara / Bangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    I wish All the Best to All Candidates. But only One will WIN.
    Let us wait up to 21.03.2012. The Big Day.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • naveen, udupi

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    people of udupi chikmaglure rejected congress party since long time..for jds no chance..only chance for bjp.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Walter, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    If you take the present situation into consideration BJP will win for sure.

    DisAgree [17] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alok Kumar, Udupi

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    I've been a BJP supporter all through, but this time my vote is with JPH, his. All the best!

    DisAgree [7] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, udupi

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Am not congress supporter but this time as a candidate profile i definitely vote to Mr. J.P Hegde. I remembered His sincerely work when he elected MLA and fisheries minister term. J.P. Hegde and Pramod Madhwaraj these two only sincerely leaders in udupi congress. JDS just divide the minority votes thats all. Wish you all the JP HEGDE.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lancelot N Tauro, Manglore - Doha Qatar

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    The Person in the centre on top pic. will be a winner. No Doubt at all.. Jai ho Secular manthra of Majorities And I will be getting highest number of AGREEs.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    The situation in the last MP election of Udupi-Chik constituency entirely changed.

    Strongest & Mr Clean candidature of JP......Hegde.

    A mass leader of all sections of society.(JPH)

    Only one man in Karnataka who pledged to commercial Bank of his home in Bangalore to acquire loan for revival of Bramavara Sugar Factory!!!!

    Weakest Oppn candidature with dozens of criminal cases (SUNIL KUMAR)including abating suicide of MLA,Ragupathi Bhat's wife.

    Yeddy's factor/groupism in BJP is bonus point.

    JPH will win with a margin of 65000 votes.

    JDS will able to retain deposit and may bag 125,000 votes.

    There might some consideration for DVS in coastal belt rather than S.Kumar.

    This election is do or die for DVS and a Tamasha for Yeddy and for some extent may lead to future course of action of (YEDDY)

    DisAgree [6] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    May the least corrupt win......

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • MM ALVARES, Bondel / M'lore

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    Very good analysis of various parties contesting this MP seat. Its a fact Congress generally ignore is the low-key but effective RSS campaign....and if it wins the whole credit to party orgnaistaion as it was done in Managalore.
    Congress must keep their house in order, not only for one election....as it is a well known saying Congress only can defeat Congress!!!
    As the analysis rightly said, its RESULT having far reaching influence / effets the forthing political developments which may unflold sooner or later in Karnataka & India.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • naveen, kottara

    Sat, Mar 17 2012

    bjp first jds second congress third place.kindly vote for bjp if you want to see development in future

    DisAgree [16] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Udupi-Chikmagalur Bypoll - Stakes High for Major Contenders

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