Independent candidate wins by highest margin in district

The Congress won three out of the five Assembly seats in Udupi district, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and an independent candidate Halady Srinivas Shetty won one seat each, here on Wednesday.

The Assembly results are a severe setback to the BJP, which won four seats (Udupi, Kundapur, Kaup and Byndoor) in 2008 Assembly elections. The Congress had then won only one seat – Karkala. This time, the only seat won by the BJP is Karkala, which it wrested from the Congress.

In addition, the BJP had to face further embarrassment as Halady Srinivas Shetty, a three-term BJP MLA, who quit the party after being denied a ministerial berth and contested as independent candidate not only won by the highest margin of 40,611 votes in the district but also relegated the BJP to the third place in the prestigious Kundapur Assembly constituency. This is Mr. Srinivas Shetty’s fourth consecutive victory from the constituency.

Mr. Srinivas Shetty polled 80,563 votes, while Congress candidate Malyady Shivarama Shetty polled 39,952 votes. The BJP candidate Kishore Kumar got only 14,524 votes, losing his deposit

In the Udupi Assembly constituency, the Congress won by an impressive margin of 39,524 votes, the second highest in the district. Congress candidate Pramod Madhwaraj bagged 86,868 votes, while the BJP candidate B. Sudhakar Shetty got 47,344 votes.

Gopal Poojary, president of Udupi District Congress Committee, won from the Byndoor Assembly Constituency by defeating his nearest rival B.M. Sukumar Shetty of the BJP by a margin of 31,149 votes. It was the Kaup Assembly Constituency, which saw a see-saw battle during counting of votes here. Finally, Vinay Kumar Sorake of Congress defeated two-term BJP MLA Lalaji Mendon by a slender margin of 1,855 votes. Janata Dal (Secular) candidate and former Minister Vasanth V. Salian was relegated to the third place with just 4,327 votes. Mr. Sorake polled 52,782 votes, while Mr. Mendon got 50,927 votes.

The BJP had a consolation win in Karkala constituency, where its candidate V. Sunil Kumar defeated two-term MLA Gopal Bhandary of the Congress by a margin of 4,254 votes. Mr. Kumar got 65,039 votes, while Mr. Bhandary polled 60,785 votes. Walter D’Souza of the JD(S) got 1,302 votes.

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