Third consecutive Lok Sabha election to witness only men contesting
The 2014 elections will go down in the history of Parliamentary elections from the district as the one in which highest number of candidates contested. To add to this, this is the third consecutive election in the recent past where women will not contest.
After withdrawal of nominations by two independent candidates on Saturday, there are 14 candidates trying their luck in the April 17 Lok Sabha elections.
While the highest number of candidates to contest the elections in the past was 12 in the 1996 elections when veteran Congressman B. Janardhana Poojary – he is trying his luck in the current edition too – was handed out defeat by the then BJP candidate V. Dhananjaya Kumar for the second time in a row.
Mr. Kumar is now a JD(S) candidate contesting from the neighbouring Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency.
The previous 2009 election, which was won by BJP’s Nalin Kumar Kateel against Mr. Poojary, had witnessed the presence of 11 candidates. The elections of 1980 and 1989 – both won by Mr. Poojary – had nine candidates each.
The 1991 and 1998 (both won by Mr. Kumar) had eight and six candidates respectively.
In the 13 elections since 1962, fewer candidates tried their luck (the winner and his party in bracket): five in 1971 (K.K. Shetty, Congress) and 1967 (C.M. Poonacha, Congress); four in 1962 (A. Shankara Alva, Congress) and 2004 (D.V. Sadananda Gowda); three in 1999 (Mr. Kumar) and 1984 (Mr. Poojary); and two in 1977 (Mr. Poojary).
On the other hand, women have been reluctant to reach the Parliament though this constituency from the beginning, though Dakshina Kannada is dominated by women both in terms of population and the number of voters. No woman has contested since 2004 and before that, only three women have ventured into politics – two in 1989 and one in 1999.
Gerty Suvarna and Flossy V. Pariaya made a meek beginning in 1989 garnering fewer than 3,900 votes together as independent candidates.
JD(S) candidate Lokeshwari Vinayachandra in 1999 offered a semblance of fight by securing 20,980 votes – nearly three per cent of the total polled. DK, with 15,30,071 electors, has 14,305 more female voters than men.