Udupi: The battle for the Udupi constituency is between one former and the other sitting MLA. The total voters in Udupi constituency are 2,07,431. Out of this 1,00,555 are males and 1,06,892 are females and four transgenders.
Voters of Udupi, have elected candidates of Congress, BSP, BJP and Krantiranga parties since 1952. The electorate might give importance to harmony among people rather than communal politics.
Pramod Madhwaraj, the sitting MLA has won for the maiden time in the last elections of 2013. His mother Manorama Madhwaraj has won four terms. Madhwaraj lost the 2008 assembly elections but later won the 2013 elections by a huge margin of 40,000 votes.
Congress Candidate Pramod Madhwaraj
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“Representatives of people should never be satisfied with the work they do. They should have the excitement and interest to do more work. I have the satisfaction of doing justice to my work as a minister and also as an MLA of my constituency for the last five years. Some jobs are pending. I will get these completed in the next term,” says Pramod, who is the sitting MLA from the Congress party.
“The works needed to uplift the fishing industry have been done. Now there is a need to bring uniform fishing policy. My next aim is to implement a uniform fishing legislation to the western coastal states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa and Karnataka. Fish wealth has to be rescued. It is an irony that central government is not co-operating in safeguarding the fish wealth.”
“The first road that needs to be developed through land acquisition is the road from Malpe to Adi Udupi and Manipal to Parkala. The central government has not done this in the past four and a half years. Let BJP get this done first and then point fingers at the development done by Congress in the constituency of Udupi.”
“The sand mafia is with the BJP candidate Ragupati Bhat. I have made a rule during my term by giving 74 permits. The sand of Udupi district should not go to other districts. Earlier the sand of Udupi was being transported to Bengaluru, Shivamogga and Kerala. This used to make the rate of the sand shoot to the sky and also non-availability of sufficient sand in Udupi. People are aware of this fact” he says.
Plans for Udupi
“My dream was to provide 24 hours uninterrupted electricity supply and water for all the 365 days of the year. Already Rs 270 crore is sanctioned for the plan to bring Varahi water to Udupi. The tender process is also completed. The work is going to begin after the assembly elections. The Bahugrama plan in the rural areas of Chantaru and Thenkanidiyoor at the cost of 78 crore and 34 crore respectively, have come up to the level of calling the tender for the work. I will complete the drainage work of roads in areas as per the demands of the public in the coming term. In addition, 22 bridges are sanctioned to be built. Now the demand for bridges is zero,” says Pramod .
The Modi wave
“BJP got defeated in the state of Bihar. In Gujarat, they were on the verge of losing the battle. There are instances of BJP losing elections where Modi has given a visit. This will be true in future in the constituencies of Udupi and Mangaluru. According to one survey, conducted by a private organization, I am chosen as the best MLA in the whole state of Karnataka. I have also made the constituency of Udupi numero uno in the state of Karnataka. If the people of Udupi give me an opportunity, I will make the constituency of Udupi number one in the whole of India.”
BJP Candidate Raghupati Bhat
BJP candidate for Udupi constituency Raghupati Bhat says, “Congress is delivering a booklet to each and every house which contains the development done by them. People of Udupi have to read the same. They have included the land acquisition work done for the construction of the national highway from Mabukala to Udyavar, which was actually done by the central government. Several plans and facilities given to the public like salaries to teachers, Anna Bhagya, Sandhya Suraksha, which they have not done are portrayed in the book as being carried out by the Congress party.”
Parika Bridge was done during my tenure. The third phase construction work of Malpe port was done during my term at a cost of Rs 36 crore. Congress has added the grant of Rs 36 crore that was released for the development of Udupi city. However, the work related to this is not yet started.”
“During my tenure several works at a cost of 380 crore are completed. If the sitting MLA would have in fact brought Rs 2,026 crore grant to Udupi,, as proclaimed by him, then Udupi would have surely turned into Singapore. This is a plan to fool people. Modi had visited Udupi twice during my term. He has canvassed on behalf of me in 2004 in the conference that took place at Chittaranjan circle. In 2008, when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat had come down to Udupi and has campaigned on behalf of me. Now I feel that it is my good fortune that he has visited Udupi as the prime minister of India. BJP has won in areas where Modi has canvassed for the party. There is no instance of BJP getting defeated at all. So I am confident that BJP will win in Udupi too.”
Plans for Udupi
“My dream of development of Udupi is completing the vision of Dr V S Acharya. Especially, making Brahmavar a Municipality and converting it into a full-fledged taluk. Drinking water scarcity is a big issue in the city of Udupi. I will bring the three Bahugrama plan on first priority. The age of four-lane road in Udupi started during my tenure. The roads between Kinnimulki – Service Bus Stand, Kalsanka – Manipal, Syndicate Bank – DC office, Gundibail – Malpe port and Brahmagiri – Jodukatte were built during the time of BJP. Though the Manipal – Perampalli road is constructed, the work done is unscientific and it is not completed. My dream would be to complete all these pending works if I am elected by the people of Udupi,” he says.
“Several works related in making Udupi as a tourist attraction are pending. Underground drainage work has to be done in Manipal, Santhekatte and Malpe. The sitting MLA should have taken the onus of getting the national highway built by pushing the Navayug company, which bagged the contract. This job is not the sole responsibility of the Member of Parliament. The road between Adiudupi – Thirthahalli is upgraded as the national highway. The plan to convert the 90 km stretch of road between Malpe – Manipal – Parkal into four lane is approved. I will get this done in a year if I get elected as MLA.”
“The people of Udupi have elected me twice as MLA and once as a member of town municipality. I have made honest attempt to develop Udupi. The sand issue is another serious issue of Udupi. I will try to find a permanent solution to this problem,” he adds.
Birti Gangadhar Bhandary is contesting on JD (S) ticket from Udupi. He has been a loyal JD (S) worker from the past 20 years. Now he is canvassing door to door to increase his chances of winning. In addition, Madhukar Mudradi (Shiv Sena), Y S Vishwanath (All India Mahila Empowerment Party), Shekhar Havanje (Republican party of India), Mahesh (Swathanthra party) and Sudhir Kanchan (Independent) are also in the run.
Congress party aims to win in five constituencies. Party activists have worked at booth level and have also conducted Janaspandane programme in order to achieve this goal.
Pramod Madhwaraj’s journey from to being cabinet minister from parliamentary secretary and assistant minister shows his ability to work. Pramod and Raghupati Bhat have been classmates from primary to high school. However, they have turned into enemies after joining politics.
If caste-wise voters are considered in this constituency Billawas, Mogaveeras and Bunts are more in numbers. Pramod belongs to the Mogaveera community, and the community’s votes will prove to be a deciding factor.
Though Brahmins are lesser in numbers, youths are the backbone of Raghupati Bhat’s campaign. In the previous election he was surrounded with controversy like the CD issue, the rave party issue that occurred in St Mary Island, and the mysterious death of his wife Padma Priya . This time however, he has managed to remain controversy-free.