Though not short of confidence, Krishna J. Palemar, Mangalore North MLA, had a rocky ride on his campaign on Tuesday. Even though confronted with sparse crowds, and a fever that weakened him, Mr. Palemar insisted on a massive BJP victory in the area.

The campaign was jinxed from the word go. Though the scheduled start was at 4 p.m., it was delayed by one-and-half hours. The fever forced Mr. Palemar to talk little, and instead, Shankar Bhat, former Mayor, did most of the talking. The fever also explained the rushed pace with which the MLA went from one place to another – which unlike other campaigns, did not include a door-to-door campaign.

The first victory for Mr. Palemar came in the 2004 elections with a margin of 2,800 votes, while the second in 2008 saw the margin jump to 14,426 votes. Perhaps, it was with this confidence that Mr. Palemar undertook the hasty public campaign across Wards 16 (Bangra Kuloor) and 17 (Derebail – 1), which most residents had called Congress-dominated. For, the BJP secured a victory by 10 votes in Ward 16, while in Ward 17, the Congress won by a 1,692 votes in the urban local body elections. However, the candidate expressed confidence. “There has been a focus on roads and drinking water, and I have delivered that,” he told the gathering of around 30 people, mostly party workers.

The entourage hopped from Dambel bus stop to St. Dominics Church in Kodikal, Kodikal Katte, Nagabrahma, J.B. Lobo Road, and Vivekanada Nagar.

One of those who saw the candidate zip by was Chandrakala in Bapujinagar. Surrounded by her four children, the garland maker sat in front of her one-room dwelling. This was the first time she was seeing Mr. Palemar, whom she had voted for twice before.

What does she think of the MLA’s performance?

“Nothing has improved here. We have no proper house, no electricity connection. Our application has been pending with the corporation for years,” Chandrakala said. The question arises, whom will she vote for?

“Palemar.”

Why?

“He said in the speech that he will make things better,” she replied.

On the porn-in-the-assembly scandal it’s mixed verdict. Naveen Chandra, a resident, said people had short memories and will focus on other issues. However, Baby, a shopkeeper, said she “felt disgusted” by the it and will not vote for him.

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