‘Other’ candidates from Dakshina Kannada terms it as a major issue

With the two major contenders — the Congress and the BJP — opting out of the debate, five candidates of Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha election unanimously termed communalism as the major issue here and blamed the two national parties for it. They were speaking about their vision at the discussion organised at Mangalore University on Monday. The participants were asked to elaborate on their concept of development, development of the district, communalism, atrocities on women and issues of the constituency. “The upcoming election is more important than any previous election as people will be voting for the values of democracy, their definition of development and secularism,” said Rajaram Tolpady, Associate professor, Department of Political Science.

The Hindu summarises the views of the participating candidates:

K. Yadav Shetty, CPI(M) candidate

He listed out health, houses, education, employment and basic amenities for all residents, while areca, rubber and paddy agriculture will be the focus. He blamed the lack of expenditure under the MNREGS and the lack of monitoring by the incumbent MP.

Moose Kunhi, BSP candidate

Though allotted 20 minutes, the candidate wrapped up in less than two minutes as “he didn’t like giving speeches”. He merely mentioned “casteism, communalism, and lack of irrigation projects” as issues.

Akram Hassan, State Secretary, SDPI

Only development that does not harm the environment will be encouraged, he said, adding that the “future” was not Information Technology but agriculture. He believed farm subsidies should reach marginal farmers and not just big landlords.

Communalism was a major issue, he said, that was being propagated through religious and educational institutions. He accused the BJP of building walls to garner majority votes, while Congress was exploiting minority voters.

M.R. Vasudev, AAP candidate

Repeatedly using Mangalore International Airport as an example, he said an integrated plan — that included proper compensation and discussions with stakeholders and technical experts — was needed before undertaking projects.

He believed financial infrastructure was the strength of the city and expressed concern over the “slow development” of the National highways. He stressed on the need to inculcate “humanism” to counter both communalism and atrocities against women.

Anand Gatty, Independent candidate

Believing there to be space for non-party candidates in the political system, Mr. Gatty said Puttur, Belthangady and Sullia taluks should be carved out into a separate district for comprehensive development.

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