Fareed and son Khader have represented the area for 24 years

The only Assembly constituency in Dakshina Kannada where politics has been running in a family is Mangalore or erstwhile Ullal.

Former Congress MLA from Ullal late U. T. Fareed and his son U. T. Khader, Mangalore MLA from the same party, have together been elected representatives from the same constituency for 24 years. Late Fareed, who first got elected in 1972, was re-elected three times making it a tenure of 18 years with several intervals. Mr. Khader has got elected twice and has been MLA for six years at a stretch. Father and son have been representing Ullal for 14 years at a stretch since 1999.

Mr. Khader entered the Assembly for the first time by winning the 2007 by-election held following the death of his father, who had won elections in 1972, 1978, 1999 and 2004. The Congress fielded Mr. Khader again in 2008 and now he is seeking re-lection for the third time from the same constituency.

Rajaram Tolpady, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Mangalore University told The Hindu that voters have elected them as he has observed the son too was accessible to all sections of common people like his father. The two were acceptable to all sections of Muslims who are in majority in the constituency.

Mr. Tolpady said that like his father Mr. Khader too had maintained a low profileThe Associate Professor said that he did not see anything unusual in the family politics continuing in the same constituency as they enjoyed people’s support, particularly Muslims. Such instances were there in some other constituencies in the State and in the country, he said.

Dayanand Naik, Associate Professor of Political Science, University College, Mangalore said that families of large Muslim population in Ullal have settled there for many years traditionally. As religion and caste counted more in elections in any constituency the father and son had enjoyed the support of settled families.

B. M. Idinabba, Kannada poet and singer, was another politician, who served as MLA for 14 y ears. Late Idinabba had been MLA for10 years at a stretch and won elections in 1967, 1985 and 1989.

In the last 13 Assembly elections, including a by-election since 1957, the Congress has won the Ullal constituency 10 times and the BJP (1994), CPI (M) (1983) and the CPI (1962) once each. The candidates of these three non-Congress parties were non-Muslims.

After K. Jayarama Shetty of the BJP won the constituency in 1994 he made an unsuccessful attempt in 1999.

Margin dips

In the 2007 by-election Congress candidate U. T. Khader defeated his nearest rival Chandrashekar Uchil of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by a margin of 8,032 votes. In 200, the margin dipped to 7,049 votes when Mr. Khader defeated the nearest rival K. Padmanabha Kottari, now president of Dakshina Kannada unit of the BJP and former MLA of the erstwhile Vitla constituency, in the last Assembly election.

The Congress sources attributed the decrease in the margin of votes to Chandrahas Ullal, who was vice-president of Mangalore Block Congress Committee, deserting the Congress and joining the BJP in April, 2008 ahead of the Assembly elections.

The BJP has fielded Mr. Ullal against Mr. Khader this time. In addition to Muslim community candidates from the JD (S), JD(U) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), seven Independent Muslim candidates are fighting against Mr. Khader now.

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