With less than a week to exercise the franchise on 18th April, 2019, the battle lines clearly drawn for Lok Sabha Elections. While sitting MP Ms. Shobha immensely banking on Modi wave and well-oiled BJP party machinery, whereas Mr. Pramod Madwaraj, former MLA representing Udupi who had experience as cabinet Minister, echoing development of the constituency, ensuring to take all communities into confidence. Though there are 10 other candidates, including Shiv Sena, Congress rebel candidate in Mr. Amrith Shenoy, it looks it will going to be a straight fight…
Udupi – Chickmagalore a unique MP seat, combining two different geographical areas, coastal karavali and Malnad, as the former known for its Udupi Madhwa Shri Krishna temple and the latter Shri Shankaracharyas Shringeri Dharmapeeta. Interestingly, it boast of high literacy in the State and country with world famous educational institutions, people practicing all major religions – Hindu, Muslim Christians living with perfect harmony for centuries….
It’s one of the closely fought seats in Karnataka, for various reasons and the ground realities, as of now slightly are in favor of BJP to romp home. Given below is a brief analysis or a status report of two important parties and their candidates……
What work in favor of Ms. Shobha Karandlaje:
i. Out of eight Assembly segments, seven are represented by BJP viz, Udupi, Kaup, Kundapur and Karkala in Udupi District and Chickmagalore, Mudigere, Tarikere in Malnad Chickmagalore and the lone seat of Shringeri by Congress.
ii. Coastal Districts have a dedicated RSS and its other offshoots HVP, VHP, HJV, SRS, BD etc. which work tirelessly for the party, though not for candidate.
iii. Prime Minister Modi and his larger than life size image likely to benefit the party, vote for stability and development.
iv. Youngsters and fresh voters are motivated; this will constitute about 15% TO 20% of total eligible votes, influenced by social media, publicity and propaganda.
v. Though caste, religion plays a significant role elsewhere, its expected dominant Vokkaliga, as Shobha belongs and Lingayats generally believed to favor BJP who are in large number, expected to support.
vi. In a constituency where Woman voters are more than men, targeted and encouraged to support a woman candidate. (Total Voters – 15,13,231, male voters 7,38,503 Female 7,74,674)
vii. Visit of PM Narendra Modi to Mangalore on 13th April, is expected to boost the chances for BJP in a big way.
Conditions favoring Pramod Madwaraj:
i. As a joint candidate of Congress – Janata Dal Secular, traditional Congress votes in the Coastal area and Janata parivar votes in Malnad and in certain pockets are expected to be transferred to combined candidate.
ii. His track record as a ‘people’s representative’ who initiated good number of developmental works as MLA and Minister.
iii. Being local candidate his assurance of availability in the constituency for any needs may work in his favor.
iv. Pramod belongs to Mogaveera fishermen’s community, is banking on their large scale support this time. A sympathy wave for not getting elected to the Assembly, in 2018, may bring him few additional votes….
v. Both the communist parties – CPI and CPI -M, extended their support to Congress – JDS likely to benefit in certain pockets.
Some points of concern for BJP to make the fight tough:
i. The tag of Non performing MP, an outsider and her non availability in the constituency during her last five years tenure may be a point of worry to attract educated voters.
ii. No major Projects brought / sanctioned to create employment in the constituency.
iii. The recent agitation – ‘Shobha Go back’ by her own BJP cadre may be fresh in few minds may tilt their votes to opposition.
iv. Anti-incumbency factor and so far no visible ‘Modi wave’ compared to 2014, and its possible effects in the voting pattern to be assessed.
Few points of concern for Congress – JDS nominee:
i. As the grand old Congress party garner its deep rooted support from less educated, the symbol hand is missing and JDS symbol new, may confuse such voters.
ii. Pramad a familiar face in the Coastal area, yet to establish his presence felt in Malnad area.
iii. A section of Congress supporters are unhappy with the seat sharing arrangements, sacrificing a seat once represented by Mrs. Indira Gandhi to JDS, may remain neutral.
iv. As the young minds and new voters carried away with social media, whatsapp….TV channels, en-masse voter’s turnout in support of a peculiar party may be a point of concern, since BJP already ahead in utilizing modern techniques.
As Karnataka going to vote in two phases, on 18th April and 23rd April, 2019, Udupi-Chickmaglore, Mangalore etc. with other 12 constituencies, totaling 14, go to poll on coming Thursday.
There is pre poll alliance between Congress and JDS who run the State Government, as the former contesting 21 and remaining 7 by JDS. Political Science is different from politics; theoretically, the combine has to win more seats this time compared to 2014, whereas pre-poll surveys, the media, other hearsay stories, has a different story to tell, and expecting that BJP is still doing better…? At national level, nothing is crystal clear, though BJP and NDA projected to come back with a thinner majority, the opposition lead by Congress and UPA constituents, rightly improve its tally this time. The third front also giving a tough fight especially TMC in Bengal, SP & BSP ghatbandhan in UP, DMK in Tamil Nadu….Never before, mass media and TV channels used (may be misused) by various political parties, since there is no visible or real wave in anyone’s favor…Hope, wish and pray good representatives get elected to the august house, the Parliament…..!
Elections are celebration of democracy. It’s every citizen’s right to participate in free and fair elections. Sometime, people draw their own conclusions, one vote hardly matter, or the result is fixed or a foul play by EVM. In India, Middle class activism is a must for the survival of democracy. Resting in house on voting day and later repenting for next five years for not having a right representative, is not acceptable. Discuss with your own circle, pros and cons of party and candidates, let us put in our effort in choosing a right person…..Also let us remember, in Indian Democracy of multi-party system, no party will get 50% of votes and win, and form Government, it’s only a group of parties with maximum number of MPs form the next Govt. Even one’s vote is not in favor of ruling combination, it is accounted in opposition vote share, and these statistics will act as checks and control the party in power, while taking key decisions.
As a responsible website we appeal our readers to go to the booth well on time, carry the identity proof, and check the names in the respective voter list, preferably in the morning hours to exercise your vote. Encourage youngsters and educate them not to carried away by emotions but analyze independently and not to disclose whom he or she voted.
Let Democracy in India win….!!
By: P. Archibald Furtado. 12th April, 2019.