Abhijith N Kolpe
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Mangaluru, May 9: One of the known names in the state’s political circles is U T Khader. The man, known for his helping nature, is gearing up for the upcoming elections. He has served as an MLA since 2007 after taking over from his father U T Fareed who was victorious during the elections prior to that.
As many as five candidates will battle for Mangaluru (Ullal) constituency. U T Khader is set for his fourth appearance at Ullal winning in all the three previous occasions. On the other hand, BJP opted to field Santhosh Kumar Rai which will mark his debut in elections, along with Nithin Kuthar from CPI (M) and K Ashraf from JD(S).
U T Khader belongs to a political family where his father U T Fareed contested from Ullal for in the years 1972, 1978, 1999 and 2004 winning all the four times. Khader entered assembly for the first time by winning the by-election in 2007 following the death of his father. Since 2007, U T Khader has been able to win all three elections with high margin.
There has been drastic development in Ullal since Khader became the MLA. He is well aware about situations, conditions and needs of the people. Ullal has been known for communal violence and clashes, but Khader has handled the situation effectively and stressed for maintaining peace and harmony. Mangaluru constituency has witnessed speedy development under Khader. Even the Mogaveera community is in favour of Khader for his timely response to their problems. Funds were sanctioned for the renovation and development of temples, churches and mosques. Khader took the leadership in conducting Rani Abbakka Utsav at Ullal. In the last five years, he has served as minister for Health and minister for Food and Civil Supplies. During his tenure, Khader assured of people getting benefits under health and civil supplies sector. His experience of 14 years and people's approach might play handy during the forthcoming elections.
Santhosh Kumar Rai’s chances
Santhosh Kumar Rai is the new face of BJP to contest in the forthcoming elections opposite an experienced U T Khader. During 2013, he was denied a ticket from Ullal. Chandrahas Ullal, who was given the BJP ticket in 2013 was successfully defeated by Khader with a high margin of 29,111 votes.
This year, BJP decided to field Santhosh Rai who is an active member among people. Santosh Kumar Rai who hails from Boliyar is a zilla panchayat member and district BJP vice-president. He has always maintained a good relationship with all communities in Boliyar, Thokkottu, Konaje, and Mudipu areas which will be an advantage for him.
JD(S) fielding Ashraf might be a shot in the arm for BJP as the minority votes will be divided between Khader and Ashraf. Quitting Congress, Ashraf joined JD(S) a few months ago. The division of votes between Khader and Ashraf will be a big advantage for Santhosh Kumar Rai.
Last 2013 elections results: U T Khader (Cong) 69,450 votes, Chandrahas Ullal (BJP) 40,339 votes, Mohammed Akram (SDPI) 4,808 votes, Krishnappa Salian (CPM) 3,815 votes, Abdul Azeez (JDS) 2,152.
Mangaluru (Ullal) constituency candidates: Khader (Congress) Santhosh KumarRai (BJP) Nithin Kuthar (CPIM) K Ashraf (JDS) and Usman (MEP)
On the Election Trail: