Karnataka Poll Round-up 4 : Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada

Political Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network

April 14, 2014

Haveri – BJP-Congress lock horns with JD(S) as spoilsport 

Assemby constituencies: 8
Total Electorate:  13, 71,763 
Candidates in fray:  19
Sitting MP: Shivakumar Udasi (BJP) 
Haveri Lok Sabha constituency is once again witnessing a repeat of 2009 as the same rival candidates from BJP and Congress are once again locking horns.   Shivakumar Udasi, the sitting MP of BJP is facing Saleem Ahmed of Congress.  It may be recalled that   B S Yeddyurappa had put a pre-condition to get Haveri  for his candidates for his re-entry and managed to get it for  his protégé Udasi.  With over 4.5 lakh Lingayat votes in the district it is political arithmetic that BJP has fielded a Lingayat candidates.  At the same time Kurubas and Muslims who together equal Lingayats in number might tilt the balance in favor of Congress.

Shivakumar Udas (BJP), Saleem Ahmed (Cong)

Interestingly,  Havery has witnessed a change of fortune for Congress and BJP in the last five years. In 2008 BJP had won 7 of the 8 Assembly seats and the trend reversed in 2013 when BJP failed to get even a single seat as it had conceded the remaining  one seat to KJP.    For the Congress, its last year’s performance has provided the much needed tonic to take on the might of the BJP which won the seat in 2009 by over 87,000 votes.  The situation from 2013 to 2014 is quite different and BSY and Sriramulu’s re-entry into the BJP has electrified the BJP workers as Sriramulu wields considerable influence among the Valimiki community in this constituency also. 

The only nightmare for Udasi is the presence of JD (S) candidate Ravi Menasinkai, also a Lingayat,   who poses serious challenge to  his winning prospects.   Needless to say the winner will be decided on the basis of how many Lingayat votes the JD(S) candidate is going to get.  This guessing game is giving nightmares to both the rival candidates and knowing the electorate they are   sweating it out trying to woo the voters.

There are 19 candidates in the fray including AAP candidate Hassanali Sakharji.   Though the electorate comprises of educated middle class nothing else works here other than the caste factor. 

Dharwad:  A 50:50 chance to rival candidates    

Assembly constituencies – 8
Total electorate: 14,11,500
Candidates in the fray: 17 
Sitting MP:  Prahlad Joshi (BJP)

Dharwad,  no doubt is a  BJP stronghold and  party’s state president Prahlad Joshi is the party’s candidate facing  challenge from Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni. The general feeling in the constituency is that it is safe for Prahlad Joshi here despite the anti-incumbency factor.   But politics is not something that depends just on the general sentiments of the people. 

Prahlad Joshi (BJP), Vinay Kulakarni (Cong), Pramod Muthalik (Ind)

As a sitting MP Joshi’s lackluster performance   is a big liability to the BJP.  But in Dharwad there is said to be a big Modi gail which might help Joshi sail through without a serious challenge.   Both the candidates are accusing each other of corruption.  While Joshi is talking about corruption under UPA rule at the centre, Congress is trying to corner the BJP by projecting its five year rule in Karnataka as the most corrupt.  In 2009 Joshi had won by a huge margin of 1.37 lakh votes against the Congress candidate Manjunath Kunnur.   The same yardstick may not apply this time as there has been lot of changes since 2009.  Sensing that there is trouble the BJP and Sangh Parivar is working overtime concentrating more on door-to-door campaign to ensure Joshi’s victory because the stakes are high for the BJP.  Being the party president a win for Joshi would brighten his political prospects but a loss would prove to be a disaster to him.

Interestingly Pramod Muthalik whom Joshi tried to bring into BJP is contesting as an independent candidate.   Aam Aadmi Party candidate Hemant Kumar also will eat into a few Congress votes.  But they are unlikely to cause any serious challenge to Congress or BJP candidates except that it might reduce the margin of the winning candidate.   Vinay Kulkarni who is the sitting MLA from Dharwad Assembly was a reluctant candidate who agreed to contest at the instance of Siddaramaiah.  But he has galvanized the Congress rank and file and journalist Patil  Puttappa’s clarion call to teach a lesson to Joshi by defeating him,   might work in favour of the Congress.  Since the caste factor cannot be wished away in Indian politics Congress has fielded Kulkarni  a Panhamashali Lingayat with an eye on splitting the Lingayat votes.  Kulkarni has a good support base in rural areas apart from that of his community.   Naturally it has given nightmares for the BJP as the constituency may go either way with both enjoying a 50: 50 chance.      

Uttara Kannada: BJP fighting anti-incumbency and resurgent Congress

Assembly constituencies: 8
Total electorate:  14.21,488 
Candidates in fray:  9
Sitting MP: Anant Kumar Hedge (BJP)

A BJP stronghold, retaining Uttara Kannada which has a sitting BJP MP in Anant Kumar Hegde, is proving to be a big   challenge for the BJP from which it may not be able to escape unscathed.   Though there was a move to change  Anant Kumar’s candidature in favour of former education minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, the party decided not to effect a change at a  crucial juncture for fear of sending wrong signals to the electorate.  

The Congress has fielded Higher Education Minister R V Deshapande’s son Prashanth Deshpande, who brings with him the youth factor to the party.  The Congress had a tough time in deciding on  issuing tickets to the sons of two Congress stalwarts  Margaret Alva and Deshapande but finally  decided in favour of Prashanth Deshapande.  Prashanth is married to senior NCFP leader Praful Patel’s daughter and the combined influence of his powerful father   and equally powerful father-in-law must have worked in favour of Prashanth Deshapande.   37-year old youthful Prashanth   Deshpande is making his political debut and the Congress is making herculean efforts to ensure his victory.  

Anant Kumar Hegde (BJP), Prashant Deshpande (Cong)

Uttara Kannada was supposed to witness a triangular contest.  However, the withdrawal of the candidature by JD (S) candidate Shivananda Naik on the final day has made way for a straight fight between the Congress and the BJP.  Shivananda Naik withdrew his candidature citing resource crunch for his unexpected action.  However, it is rumoured that Naik withdrew from the fray at the insistence of the BJP.  The absence of a JD(S) candidate has certainly left a void in this constituency which has only 9 candidates in the fray.

In the constituency which is dominated by Brahmin politics, the BJP is finding the going tough and Uttara Kannada is expected to witness a keen tussle.   The orientation of over one lakh  lakh odd Muslim votes and about 65,000 first time voters might prove decisive in deciding the  winner.     

BJP candidate Anant Kumar Hegde is facing anti-incumbency factor both within the party and outside.   Of the eight assembly constituencies, the Congress represents four and BJP represents one.  Three assembly seats are represented by independents whose allegiance might be crucial for both the Congress and the BJP.   The Congress, being the ruling party is brimming with confidence especially when there is resentment over the non-performance of the incumbent MP, Hindutva poster boy Anant Kumar Hegde.  Former MP Margaret Alva who has a considerable influence in the area is smarting under the unsuccessful attempt of not getting the seat for her son Nivedit Alva despite her best efforts.  Whether her fans and supporters will work to ensure the victory of   her bitter rival remains to be seen considering that a win for youthful Prashanth will close the doors of a political career for her son.  


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Comment on this article

  • V poojary, Udupi

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    Modi & Company repeatedly go on questioning What did Congress/UPA do in the last 10 years!!!!

    Today, people in India consume more food, eat at expensive restaurants, shop at malls, wear designer clothes, speak fluent english, ride motor cycles to colleges and schools, travel by domestic flights, go on overseas holidays, study abroad, drive imported cars, carry expensive smart phones, talk for hours on mobile phones, use more and more internet/laptops, have access to the best medicines at a very low price, get the best treatment in modern hospitals, live in expensivee apartments, sell their ancestral land at exorbitant prices, engage interior designers to decorate their houses, build vast places of worship, donate large sums of money to charities, watch 24x7 tv channels, read plenty of glossy magazines, play cricket,football, even golf, arrange lavish weddings, throw mind boggling parties, boast about bungalows, spend time in resorts etc., have access to ATM machines and banking round the clock, buy air/railway/bus tickets through Internet, get IT related jobs in world class MNC's, etc., etc.,

    All this is done by the majority of the people much more than they did 10 years ago. How can we then blame congress? In fact, Congress should be given credit and voted back to power.

    All what BJP and the opposition did in the last years is criticise the UPA govt., block the parliament from functioning, prevent the govt., from passing important legislations, polarised the society on caste/religious lines, poison the young minds with outdated ideologies, encouraged street fighting and riots, malicious propaganda against honest politicians, spreading rumours and lies etc., etc.,

    Dont get fooled, misled and duped by these so called opposition paties.

    Vote for Congress whole heartedly and allow the UPA to bring more and more prosperity in the days to come. Let us not put our future at risk by electing opposition parties like BJP/AAP/BSP/SP/ LEFT/AIDMK/DMK/JD(U)/BJD/AKALI/DMK/TMC/JD(S). All are thieves and will rob and ruin the country in the name of politics.

    Vote for Congress, Vote for Congress and send this message to all your contacts without fail.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abdul Salam, Mangalore/Doha

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    Well said.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Boka, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 16 2014

    Luxurious Life-style is NOT a common man's life.

    Congress did nothing in last 60yrs(just consider last 10yrs):
    No good roads, No highway development, Bad road connectivity to remote/small towns/villages, No sufficient drinking water supply, Export Lagging, No Industry development, Heavy taxation which burdening a common-man, No-Employment, votebank politics, looted india in the name of various scams, Failed in BORDER-SECURITY, reduced number of LPG cylinders, Instead of creating employment made labour-class people lazy by providing rice at Rs.1/kg(from our tax paid money), Hiked Petrol/Diesel prices like hell...etc...etc..

    So why should we vote for CONGRESS??

    Why don't we offer a chance to BJP ?? atleast for 5yrs.??

    Think if u r educated.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • TRaghu Pai, Bangalore

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    Dharwad,Haveri are BJP strongholds.

    Uttara Kannada tough one, Congress has the upper hand. If Anant Kumar Hegde wins reason would be only Modi wave because majority Brahmins will vote only for Modi.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Farooq, Karkala

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    I said shall WE???and value will be added if you ask,coz u r the one predicting....

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh Poojary, Bangalore

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    All 3 seats are safe seats to BJP. WIth Modi wave BJP is touching 20 in Karnataka and INC's ONLY hope of winning double digit from Karnataka is ruined. INC would not touch double digit any states and few states would contribute BIG ZERO to INC.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • vinayak prabhu, mangalore

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    We can win 3 out of 3.total 8 to 10 out of 12. Daiji has briefed. if u do micro analysis. This elections caste factor doesnot matter much. All caste people talk about modi. If it works dont get surprised if we win 20 odd. Maybe 16 minimum.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    All 3 seats will be won by BJP.

    DisAgree [36] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Farooq, Karkala

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    Mr.Dinesh Poojary....Shall we ask the election commission not to conduct poling??!! why to waste public money right??!!

    DisAgree [8] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    Farooq, Karkala

    You can ask.

    DisAgree [18] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abdul Salam, Mangalore/Doha

    Mon, Apr 14 2014

    i am a strong supporter of Mr.Modi. But this 3 seats will go to congress fir sure as their is kaal yeluva game from BJP is in full swing. You will be proved Wrong Mr. Poojary.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [12] Report Abuse

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Title: Karnataka Poll Round-up 4 : Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada

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