Only two women MPs from DK, Udupi in 7 decades

Women voters outnumber men in undivided Dakshina Kannada. Ironically, when it comes to political representation for women in the Lok Sabha, only two women have been elected in the last 16 Lok Sabha elections.

Interestingly, both women MPs represented the Udupi Lok Sabha constituency.

Manorama Madhwaraj became the first woman MP from undivided Dakshina Kannada in 2004. She was elected on a BJP ticket from Udupi, with 3,69,627 votes, defeating Congress candidate Vinay Kumar Sorake, who got 3,40,624 votes.

In 2014, Shobha Karandlaje won from the Udupi – Chickmagalur constituency as BJP candidate against K Jayaprakash Hegde of the Congress. She secured 5,81,168 votes, which was 56.2% of the votes polled.

First independent

Going by the records of the Election Commission of India, it was in 1977 that a woman contested as an independent candidate for the first time from Udupi constituency. Yashoda S Armugham got 17,794 votes, which was 4.87% of the votes polled, and lost against T A Pai of the Congress.

In 1989, Gerty Suvarna and Flossy V Pariara contested as independent candidates against Janardhana Poojary of the Congress from Mangalore constituency. Suvarna had secured 1,592 votes (0.25% of the votes polled) while Flossy had secured 1,560 votes (0.25% of the votes polled).

In the 13th Lok Sabha elections in 1999, Lokeshwari Vinayachandra contested on a JD(S) ticket against V Dhananjay Kumar from Mangalore constituency. She secured 20,980 votes (2.92% of the votes polled).

In the 15th Lok Sabha election in 2009, Radha Sundaresh from CPI was fielded from Udupi – Chickmagalur constituency and secured 24,991 votes (2.99 % of the total votes polled). She lost against D V Sadananda Gowda of the BJP.

History

Interestingly, in the first Lok Sabha elections, Dakshina Kannada was known as South Kanara (South) Lok Sabha constituency and was under the Madras Presidency. The areas included Panamangalore (Panemangalore), Mangalore Puttur, Kasargod and Hosdurg (Kanhangad) Assembly constituencies. South Kanara (North) constituency had Udipi (Udupi), Brahmavar, Coondapur (Kundapur), Karkal and Mulky (Mulki) Assembly constituencies.

After South Kanara district of erstwhile Madras State merged with the Mysore State in 1956, both the seats ceased to exist and was replaced by Mangalore and Udipi Lok Sabha constituencies.

It was only during the 1977 election that the name of Udipi constituency was changed as Udupi. The Udupi – Chickmagalur constituency was created as per the recommendation of the Delimitation Commission in 2008. Till then, the Udupi Lok Sabha constituency comprised the Byndoor, Kundapur, Brahmavar, Udupi and Kaup Assembly constituencies in Udupi district, and the Moodbidri, Surathkal and Bantwal Assembly constituencies of Dakshina Kannada district.

Now, the Udupi – Chickmagaluru Parliamentary constituency comprise four Assembly constituencies of Udupi district - Kundapur, Udupi, Kaup and Karkala – and four constituencies of Chikkamagaluru district – Sringeri, Mudigere, Chikkamagaluru and Tarikere.

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Only two women MPs from DK, Udupi in 7 decades

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