Udupi, May 29: A notable aspect of the 2008 Assembly elections is that none of the candidates from Billava community have won in Udupi district even as they form a dominant community here.
The Congress had fielded two candidates from the community, former Minister Vasanth V. Salian from Kaup and former MLA K. Gopal Poojary from Byndoor. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fielded former MLA V. Sunil Kumar of the same community from Karkala.
Mr. Salian represented Kaup segement five times in succession from 1983. Lalaji R. Mendon of the BJP defeated Mr. Salian by a margin of 1,390 votes in 2004 Assembly elections. The Congress and BJP fielded them again in 2008. This time, Mr. Salian was defeated by Mr. Mendon by a slender margin of 967 votes.
Mr. Gopal Poojary had been representing Byndoor since 1998. He had won a bypoll from Byndoor in 1998 by defeating K. Lakshminarayana of BJP. He won in 1999 and 2004 elections against Mr. Lakshminarayana. This time, both the parties nominated the same candidates and Mr. Lakshminarayana emerged victorious against Mr. Poojary by a margin of 7,970 votes.
The BJP nominated Mr. Sunil Kumar from Karkala, who had won from there in 2004 against H. Gopal Bhandary of the Congress by a margin of 9,795 votes. Both parties reposed faith in the strengths of the same candidates in 2008. However, Mr. Bhandary defeated Mr. Sunil Kumar by a margin of 1,537 votes