MANGALURU: With increase in number of BJP seats, the party’s vote share has also seen a sharp increase in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. For the first time, the saffron party which has won seven out of eight seats in Dakshina Kannada, also managed to cross the 50 percent mark in vote share, while in the neighbouring Udupi district where it had a clean sweep with all five seats, the vote share has reached 60 percent.
This is a remarkable increase compared to last 2013 assembly election when the vote share hovered around 30-35 percent in these districts and 42-45 percent in 2014 Lok Sabha election. BJP MLC Ganesh Karnik said all party candidates winning by huge margins this time has led to significant rise in the vote share. All 12 candidates have won by a margin of more than 15,000 votes. Out of them, one (Halady Srinivas Shetty (Kundapur)) has won by more than 55,000 votes, one (Sunil Kumar, Karkala) by more than 40,000 votes, five (S Angara, Sullia; Harish Poonja, Belthngady; Y Bharath Shetty, Mangaluru North; Umanath Kotian, Moodbidri; and B M Sukumar Shetty) by more than 20,000.
This is the best ever performance by BJP in the assembly election so far. BJP contesting its first assembly election in 1983 had put up a spectacular performance by winning six seats in undivided Dakshina Kannada district. Dhananjay Kumar (Mangalore), Vasanth Bangera (Belthangady), Ram Bhat (Puttur), Bakila Hukrappa (Sullia), N Shivaram (Bantwal) and Dr V S Acharya (Udupi) had won.
But in the subsequent 1985 and 1989 elections, the party failed to put up a good show. Only Vasanth Bangera from Belthangady (1985) and Rukmaya Poojary from Vittla (1989) could win and that was worse phase of the party.
But after that the Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue that engulfed the entire country gave it the much needed break, in 1994, the party won six seats. K Jayaram Shetty (Ullal), Kumble Sunder Rao (Suratkal), N Yogish Bhat (Mangaluru), D V Sadananda Gowda (Puttur), S Angara (Sullia) and I M Jayaram Shetty (Byndoor) won.In 1999, the seats came down to five from six. In 2004, BJP won 10 seats in undivided Dakshina Kannada. In 2008, it became 8 and 2013 election, it suffered a major jolt as the party was able to win just 2 seats out of 13.
BJP MLAs from undivided DK
1983 - 6
1985 - 1
1989 - 1
1994 - 6
1999 - 5
2004 - 10
2008 - 8
2013 - 2
2018 - 12