BJP, Congress win a seat each in DK constituency

The BJP and the Congress have both retained their seats in the Legislative Council election from the Dakshina Kannada local authority constituency.

The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Kota Srinivas Poojary and the Congress candidate Prathapchandra Shetty registered victory on Wednesday. For both the candidates. this is the third term in the Legislative Council.

The counting, which commenced at 8 am was completed by 11.30 am, at Ladyhill Victoria Composite College in Mangaluru. Both the candidates won with first preference votes. While Kota Srinivas Poojary won 2,977 first preference votes, Prathapchandra Shetty won 2,237 first preference votes. Out of the total 6,534 votes, two persons have opted for NOTA while 231 ballot papers were invalid.

The quota required for a candidate to be declared winner was fixed at 2,102 after calculations. The quota is calculated with the total number of valid votes, divided by number of seats to be filled, plus 1. The sum of votes should be added 1. In the case of Dakshina Kannada local authority constituency, the quota for winning the candidate was 2,102.

Rebel candidates
The Congress rebel candidates Jayaprakash Hegde and Harikrishna Bantwal could poll only 872 and 127 votes respectively. JD(S) candidates Praveenchandra Jain and S Prakash Shetty could poll 30 and 6 votes respectively. Independent candidate Alphonso Pranco has managed to secure 51 votes. On the other hand, another independent candidate Ismail Doddamane could secure only one vote.

It was BJP candidate Kota Srinivas Poojary who had wrested the Dakshina Kannada local authorities constituency seat from the Congress in 2008. Srinivas Poojary had defeated his Congress rival Nithyananda Mundodi by a margin of 293 votes. The by-election was necessitated, following the death of Congress MLC Blasius M D’Souza whose term was to have expired on January 5, 2010.

Later, in 2010, Kota and Shetty were both elected to the Legislative Council unanimously. On the other hand, Prathapchandra Shetty is a four-time MLA and third-time MLC.

Candidates speak
Speaking to reporters, a jubilant Kota Srinivas Poojary said that the victory with first preference votes was expected. “I have won thanks to the united efforts of party workers and elected representatives of undivided Dakshina Kannada district. I have been working for the betterment of local bodies. My desire is to empower the Panchayat Raj system by urging the State government to fully implement Ramesh Kumar report which aimed at ushering in reforms in the Panchayat Raj system in the State. The result of Legislative Council will play a vital role in the forthcoming Zilla Panchayat and Taluk Panchayat results,” said the MLC.

He added that the gram panchayats should function as a government body at the local level. “As the funds to the MLC is limited, I will try to distribute it among the local bodies of undivided Dakshina Kannada in a transparent manner,” he advised.

Attributing the victory to party workers, Congress victorious candidate  Prath-apchandra Shetty said, “The victory was made possible by the united efforts of the Congress elected representatives and party workers. The mandate is for the Congress.”

Ministers’ speak
District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai said that in spite of rebel candidates contesting the election in the Dakshina Kannada local authority constituency, the Congress candidate has won the election. “Under the guidance of former Union minister Oscar Fernandes, we worked in unity for the victory of the candidate. The BJP’s overall vote has been reduced, which has benefited the rebel candidates. This clearly shows that there is no confusion in the Congress.

As an MLC, Prathapchandra Shetty has fought for the completion of the Varahi project and also against the implementation of the recommendations of Kasturirangan report for the conservation of Western Ghats. False propaganda against a candidate is common during elections,” he added.

Terming the victory as the outcome of the united efforts of the party workers and elected representatives, Udupi District In-charge Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake said, “Whenever the Congress faced difficulties, the party workers and the elected representatives have worked together for the victory of its candidate. The victory of the Congress will guide the forthcoming Zilla Panchayat and Taluk Panchayat elections. Under the guidance of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC President Dr G Parameshwar, the Congress has won a good number of seats in the State.”

Reacting to former Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa’s statement that he would retire from politics if the Congress won a good number of seats in the Legislative Council polls, the minister said, “With the Congress registering good results in the State, I want to know when will Eshwarappa retire from politics” and added, “Out of the total votes polled, the Congress would have lost only around 200 votes.”

Udupi district Congress President and legislator Gopal Poojary said that without a party base, a rebel candidate cannot win the Legislative Council election. The name of Prathapchandra Shetty was finalised after collecting opinions of the block Congress presidents, legislators and ministers.

Terming the victory of the BJP and the Congress candidates as a landslide victory, MLC Capt Ganesh Karnik said both the candidates have nullified the notion that voters can be purchased through money power.

The elected representatives of the constituency have sent a ‘good’ message to the entire State by electing Kota Srinivas Poojary and Prathapchandra Shetty, who were the official candidates of respective political parties.
DH News Service

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