BJP’s victory run continues along Coastal Karnataka

Another veteran Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri of BJP defeated Congress’ Dr Anjali Nimbalkar by over 3.37 lakh votes in Uttara Kannada.
Sensing anti-incumbency against the sitting MPs, BJP had changed its candidates, and the gamble paid off.
Sensing anti-incumbency against the sitting MPs, BJP had changed its candidates, and the gamble paid off.

MANGALURU: The BJP continued to hold sway over Coastal Karnataka by winning all three constituencies although its victory margin saw a decline in all the seats compared to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.  

While debutant Capt. Brijesh Chowta won the Dakshina Kannada seat by more than 1.49 lakh votes against Congress’ Padmaraj Poojary, veteran politician Kota Srinivas Poojary of BJP trounced K Jayaprakash Hegde of Congress by over 2.59 lakh votes. Another veteran Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri of BJP defeated Congress’ Dr Anjali Nimbalkar by over 3.37 lakh votes in Uttara Kannada.  

In 2019, BJP had won Uttara Kannada, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, and Dakshina Kannada segments by over 4.79 lakh, 3.49 lakh and 2.73 lakh votes, respectively.  

Sensing anti-incumbency against the sitting MPs, BJP had changed its candidates, and the gamble paid off. There was severe backlash against two-time MP Shobha Karandlaje in Udupi-Chikkamagaluru after which the party moved her to Bangalore North and field Poojary. Jayaprakash Hegde, who had moved from BJP to Congress just before the Lok Sabha polls, failed to make an impact.

In Uttara Kannada, six-time MP Ananth Kumar Hegde was benched apparently after his controversial “Change Constitution”. He was replaced by a soft-spoken Kageri. Hegde stayed away from campaigning and many thought that it will affect the BJP’s prospects but it proved wrong. Nimbalkar, who is from Khanapur in Belagavi district, failed to give a tough challenge to BJP.  

In Dakshina Kannada where BJP replaced three-time MP and former state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel with Capt. Chowta, initially it was thought that the election was just a formality. But the Congress came back strongly by playing up the Billava card and “failures” of BJP MPs in the last three decades.

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