Incumbent Lakshminarayana campaigns for BJP’s Sukumar

The Byndoor Assembly constituency, located to the north of Udupi district, is regarded as the most backward among the five Assembly seats in the district. Unlike the other four constituencies, which come under the Udupi-Chikmagalur parliamentary constituency, Byndoor Assembly Constituency is a part of Shimoga parliamentary constituency, after the delimitation exercise.

The main problems dogging this constituency include lack of basic facilities in Naxalite-affected villages, drinking water scarcity during summer, absence of drainage system in Byndoor and Kollur towns, and sea erosion. The tourism potential, too, has not been properly tapped.

In the 12 Assembly elections and one by-election held in the constituency since 1957, the Congress won nine times and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) twice.

As many as 13 candidates are contesting in Byndoor Assembly constituency, which is the highest in the district this time. A keen contest is underway in this constituency.

The Congress has fielded K. Gopal Poojary, the president of the Udupi District Congress Committee. Mr. Poojary had won from Byndoor thrice in a row in 1998 (by-poll), 1999 and 2004 Assembly elections. But he lost to K. Lakshminarayana of the BJP in 2008 Assembly elections by a margin of 7,970 votes.

Mr. Poojary and Mr. Lakshminarayana had clashed against each other four times in a row in 1998 (by-poll), 1999, 2004 and 2008 Assembly elections. Mr. Poojary had emerged victorious in the first three contests (1998, 1999 and 2004). Mr. Poojary will be contesting from the constituency for the fifth time.

Surprisingly, the BJP did not re-nominate Mr. Lakshminarayana. The party gave its ticket to the former managing trustee of Mookambika Temple B.M. Sukumar Shetty. Though Mr. Lakshminarayana expressed his unhappiness at the party’s decision of not taking him into confidence, he is, however, campaigning for Mr. Shetty in the constituency.

Mr. Poojary said that his campaign was focusing on the five years of “misrule” of the BJP. The BJP’s decision not to field Mr. Lakshminarayana would also help him as the people did not know much about Mr. Shetty, he said.

T.V. Hegde, General Secretary of district unit of BJP, said that the BJP was highlighting the developmental projects taken up by it in Byndoor constituency in the last five years. “Mr. Sukumar Shetty is well-known in the constituency and Mr. K. Lakshminarayana is whole-heartedly campaigning for him,” he said.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate K. Shankar said that people were fed up of corruption of both the Congress and the BJP and were looking to the CPI (M) as an alternative.

But in Byndoor, Satish Kini, owner of a general store, said drinking water scarcity and lack of drainage system are two major problems in Byndoor Gram Panchayat.

Sridhar B., autorickshaw driver, said that Byndoor, Paduvari and Yedthary villages should be combined to form Byndoor town municipality. “Good roads should be developed in the constituency. Proper parking facilities for vehicles should be provided in Byndoor. It is difficult to say who is going to win here,” he said.

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