Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (NDF)
Sullia, May 9: With the poll fever catching up all over the state, a close contest is expected for the Sullia assembly constituency seat. Both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are confident of cruising to victory.
Surrounded by Kadaba, Beltangady and Puttur taluks, Sullia had witnessed an unexpected competition between Congress and BJP in the 2013 assembly elections. Considered to be a BJP stronghold for the past 25 years, the Congress had given it a run for its money. Ultimately, BJP candidate S Angara secured a win by a small margin of 1,373 votes. The BJP, which enjoyed a massive support during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, is looking at its prospects of securing a big win again.
However, the reduction in the margin of victory over the last three elections has instilled in the Congress, the confidence that there is a changing trend among voters. Hence, they are confident of a victory this time.
S Angara (L) and Dr Raghu
Meanwhile, the fight at Sullia will be among candidates of three national parties and three independent candidates. BJP’s S Angara, Congress’ Dr Raghu, BSP’s Raghu Dharmasena and independent candidates Sanjay, Sundar and Chandrashekar are looking to make this a pulsating competition. Congress and BJP have already finished two rounds of campaigning. The national-level BSP-JD(S) alliance has given a BSP candidate an opportunity to contest the elections. Despite this alliance, the JD(S) leaders have not been seen campaigning along with the BSP so far. Recently, both the parties held a joint meeting and decided that they would help each other with campaigning because they are contesting the elections together.
Sanjay, an independent candidate, has begun campaigning supported by Misalathi Mukthi Horata Samiti. With the help of loudspeakers, he has been highlighting the problems of the constituency that need to be addressed and is organizing 'Corner Sabhas’ everywhere.
In the previous assembly election, JD(S) candidate Nandaraj Sankesha garnered more than 8,000 votes. Independent candidate K Kushala, a former MLA and KJP candidate Chandravati have now joined the Congress. SDPI, which used to pocket the minority community's votes, are not in the fray this time, thereby making the prospects for Congress look much better. There are 22,500 new voters in the constituency and each party believes that they will gain the votes of the new voters.
Congress, BJP and BSP candidates have constantly been talking about making development their priority - a tactic to garner votes. The BJP sitting MLA has been going around door-to-door promising benefits of a Modi-Yeddyurappa government and accusing current chief minister Siddaramaiah of following anti-Hindu policies.
On the other hand, Congress has been highlighting the failures and fruitless tenure of the five-time BJP MLA, and promising electricity and proper roads as well as highlighting the benefits of the Siddaramaiah government in order to win over the minds of the voters.
Campaigning by national leaders in the constituency has caught a few eyebrows. BJP national president Amit Shah and state president Yeddyurappa are two important personalities who have campaigned for their party in this district. The visit of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has boosted the confidence of BJP workers. Puducherry CM Narayana Swamy and National Campaign Committee president D K Shivakumar among others have already campaigned here for Congress.
“In the past five terms, the BJP MLA has made no major infrastructural development. Although I lost last time, I have responded to the problems of the people of the constituency as much as I could. The voters of the constituency want a change this time and will make the Congress win. This time victory is ours,” says Dr Raghu, Congress candidate.
BJP’s S Angara, with a tone of confidence says, “People have seen the development that I have brought about in five terms as MLA. The benefits of CM candidate B S Yeddyurappa and PM Narendra Modi government are a further boost to a BJP victory. It is definite that the voters will make us win by maximum margin because of the development works I have undertaken here.”
“There are many basic problems in the constituency. Congress and BJP which have represented this constituency for a long time have not met the demands of people. There are no job opportunities for the youth here. People who are suffering because of this fruitless tenures of Congress and BJP, will give BSP a chance this time,” says Raghu Dharmasena, BSP candidate.
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