GP poll counting peaceful across Dakshina Kannada

The counting of votes of Gram Panchayat polls which began at 8 am on Friday continued late in the evening too. However, it was peaceful in Dakshina Kannada and no untoward incidents have been reported. The counting was held to decide the fate of 7,619 candidates who contested for 3,288 seats of 229 Gram Panchayats of Dakshina Kannada district.

In Mangaluru, the process held under police scrutiny at Padua High School to count the votes casted at 335 polling centres of five hoblis of the Mangaluru taluk to select candidates to 55 Gram Panchayats (2,272 candidates).

Though it was Gram Panchayat elections, many Congress and BJP leaders supported their party candidates.

Quite interestingly, Zilla Panchayat Member Saraswati Kamath who contested gram panchayat election from first ward of Balila GP lost to BJP supported candidate Jayakumari. “I had no other choice but compete as there was no other candidate for Backward Class ‘A’ category. It was a party order. People had to choose considering my work. Liquor or work, choice was theirs,” she said.

Taluk Congress Minority Unit President had tried his luck from two wards of Jalsoor, but lost in both places. John Paul D’Souza was at cloud nine after he won the election as an independent at Boleyar second ward against six-time winner, Congress candidate Ramesh Shetty, by 26 votes. Interestingly, in the same Gram Panchayat, Rajesh and Zeenat Ban, both independents also won.

Speaking to Deccan Herald in the evening, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said that the party has achieved good results in most parts of Dakshina Kannada district including Bantwal, Moodbidri, Puttur and even in Mangaluru. Even in State, people have responded to BJP’s campaign based on bad administration of State government and good governance of the Narendra Modi government. The final output is yet to come and it would be in favour of BJP, he said.  

District Youth Congress President Mithun Rai said that Congress supported candidates have won many of the BJP strongholds and retained most of the Congress strongholds in the district. Congress supported candidates, especially youth won in BJP strongholds like Alike, Kepu and Uppinangady of Puttur. Around 60 per cent candidates are youth this time. BJP has distributed pamphlets with manifesto against the rules and a FIR has been lodged against BJP leaders, he said.

Counting was held at Infant Jesus English Medium School, Modankap for Bantwal taluk, SDM English Medium School, Ujire for Belthangady, Vivekananda English Medium High School for Puttur and Nehru Memorial College for Sullia.   

From the corner

In M’luru, counting was delayed because of confusion in finding rooms by election officials. However, police efficiently controlled the crowd. Though people hailed police for the arrangements, few were irritated by the congestion and claimed that the school beside the National Highway is not at all the proper place for counting.

Meanwhile, the Gram Panchayat election was a battle between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in Tiruppadi. Finally, the mother-in-law Shantha, a BJP supported candidate won against Shantha, who was supported by the Congress. In Haleyangadi, elder brother Praveen, who was supported by Congress won against Naveen Salian.

In Beluivai ward number one, reserved for general category, Latha Jain and Fatima had got equal number of votes (391). In the lottery process, luck favoured Latha Jain.   

Couples in fray

There were few instances wherein both husband and wife contested. Shyamala and Prakash Shetty couple tested their luck in different Gram Panchayats. Shyamala, who was supported by Congress won at Kinnigoli and Prakash Shetty tested his luck from Elattur. Shalini, who was supported by BJP won from Kinnigoli, while Tukaram was waiting for the result.

In Ajjavar, Nagavar Mulya- Navya couple had to face defeat in the panchayat elections. Dinesh Adkar- Prameela couple have won in their respective wards. In Aranthod, eleder brother Nithyananda was defeated by his younger brother Shivananda. In Ubaradka, Shshaidhar Nayar won against his younger brother Gangadhar Nayar.  

Meanwhile, when MLC Ivan D’Souza entered the counting centre premises, someone reminded him about the election model code of conduct, and he left the place immediately.

A meeting will be organized for all elected GP representatives under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner on reservation for president and vice president posts of Gram Panchayats, at Nethravathi Hall of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat in Mangaluru on June 8 at 9.30 am.

Vittal Malekudiya who is facing charges of being naxal sympathiser, and who tested his luck with the support of CPM from Kutlur second ward of Naravi Gram Panchayat of Belthangady taluk, lost against Krishnappa Poojary, supported by the Congress.

The total number of voters in the constituency were 608 and 483 voters had exercised their franchise. Vittal Malekudiya managed to get only 30 votes.

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