The BJP has retained sitting MPs Nalin Kumar Kateel and Shobha Karandlaje for Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.
Nalin Kumar Kateel is contesting for the third time from Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency and is hoping for a hat-trick of sorts with a victory margin of over 2 lakh votes.
Kateel, a grassroot-level worker, made it to the Lok Sabha in 2009 by defeating Congress candidate Janardhana Poojary with a margin of 40,420 votes.
He had secured 4,99,385 in 2009. In the 2014 election, he had won with a margin of 1,43,706 votes once again against Janardhana Poojary of the Congress. He had secured 6,42,739 votes which accounts for 53.23 % of the total votes polled.
The constituency has eight Assembly segments. In the previous 2018 Assembly elections, the BJP had won seven out of the eight Assembly segments.
Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency (formerly Mangalore constituency comprised Kodagu district till 2004 elections) was a Congress bastion until 1991. Later, it fell into the hands of the BJP which won the constituency consecutively for seven times—in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections.
It was V Dhananjaya Kumar who won from the constituency for four times in a row until 1999 elections. Later, former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda was elected in 2004 elections.
In fact, there was opposition to the candidature of Kateel within the party.
BJP Backward Morcha State Secretary Satyajith Surathkal had openly announced that he was an aspirant and his followers had mounted banners in his favour in different parts of the district.
Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “Modi factor will help to win the election once again in Dakshina Kannada. I have already visited different parts of the district twice, campaigning for the BJP, even before the announcement of the candidature. People want to re-elect Modi. The party workers are enthusiastic and have completed one round of campaigning by visiting households on their own. Even if Rahul Gandhi contests from Dakshina Kannada, the voters will vote for the BJP.”
Shobha Karandlaje will be trying her luck for the second time from Udupi -Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency.
She has served the Bharatiya Janata Party organisation in various capacities before being elected as an MLC in 2004. She was elected as MLA from Yeshwanthpur constituency in Bengaluru in 2008 and was appointed as the minister for rural development and panchayat raj in the B S Yeddyurappa government.
She entered Lok Sabha by winning with a margin of 1,81,643 votes against Jayaprakash Hegde of Congress. She had secured 56.20% of the votes polled.
Shobha said, “We all should pull the chariot of the BJP together. The BJP will win 300 seats and will re-elect Modi as prime minister. I am confident that the voters will bless me in Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency.”
There was stiff opposition within the party for her candidature and a campaign against her was initiated on social media. However, the party high command has decided to retain the candidate.
In fact, Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency was constituted in 2007 after delimitation by including four Assembly segments each of Udupi and Chikkamagaluru districts. The Congress had won the erstwhile Udupi and Chikmagalur constituencies 11 and six times respectively in the past. The BJP has won the constituency, including erstwhile Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency, five times since 1998.