Shetty believes an MLC post will help revive JD(S) in DK

After nursing political injuries, defeated candidates from the region have gone back to party work, or are keeping low, while some have also started planning the next major political step.

For former Minister K. Amarnath Shetty, the face of Janata Dal (Secular) in the district who finished third in Moodbidri, the immediate political strategy is to secure an MLC seat in the district for himself or someone in the party. “We have no position of authority in the district. Mere protests will not help increase our voters’ base here. JD(S) will call a meeting soon, and I will ask for a MLC seat here. When people see improvement and development here, they will start believing in us,” he said.

For the BJP in the district, it is about rebuilding the image of the party.

After his resignation as president of Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, Umanath A Kotian, BJP candidate form Moodbidri, said he would “devote” more time to the people of the region. “48,000 people have voted for me, while there are around 20,000 others who did not vote for Congress. I have to ensure they get their due from the government. I will be like an opposition leader for the constituency,” he said.

Another political greenhorn, U. Rajesh Naik, who lost in Bantwal under a BJP ticket, said he will “be among the people” whether it is “religious or cultural” activities. He will also concentrate on popularising the concept of his all-organic, self-sufficient farm in Ganjimatt. “We have our own water source, manufacture organic fertilizers, and even get electricity from biogas. It will help rural development if more farmers adopt this model,” he said.

The political heavyweights who have lost are keeping a low profile. N. Yogish Bhat, former BJP MLA, refused to comment – “whatever has to be done is being done, and future steps will be announced later,” he said – while, former Minister J. Krishna Palemar did not pick up the call even after repeated attempts.

It’s back to basics for other losing candidates. B. Raghu, Congress candidate of Sullia, said he’ll return to work among the Dalit organisations in the constituency, while Lolaksha, who stood in Bantwal as an independent, has continued his activism as Ahinda president.

For the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Social Democratic Party of India, the losses have reminded them of work to be done. Mangalore South CPI(M) candidate Vasantha Achari is losing no time in reclaiming the support base that has eroded in the past few decades here. He said booth-level committees would be formed, corner meetings have been held already and the “grass-root level” organisation in the 48 wards of the city will be intensified. Buoyed by the around 28,000 votes obtained, SDPI members said they will continue their “social work” and taking up issues concerning the state and the district to be better prepared for the next elections.

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