Administration makes pick-and-drop arrangements at 561 points in district

In an unprecedented move, the district administration will arrange pick and drop facility for voters across eight constituencies in Dakshina Kannada, where three former Ministers and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly are seeking re-election in the Sunday’s polls.

For the first time the district administration has made arrangements to transport voters from 561 points in the district assigning specific route numbers for each of the eight constituencies going to polls in Dakshina Kannada on Sunday.

The highest number of pickup points – 202 – are in Puttur (route no. 58), followed by Sullia 97 (route no. 27); Mangalore 75 (route no. 37); Belthangady 69 (route no. 34); Bantwal 59 (route no. 23); Mangalore City North 41 (route no. 24); Moodbidri 19 (route no. 13); and Mangalore City South 14 (route no. 10). Voters will have to pay Rs. 5 for the transport to be made available between 7 a.m. and 3 p .m. On Sunday over 15 lakh voters will decide the fate of 71 candidates who include Deputy Speaker in the Legislative Assembly N. Yogish Bhat (BJP, Mangalore South); and the former Ministers J. Krishna Palemar (BJP, Mangalore North), B. Ramanatha Rai (Cong, Bantwal) and K. Amaranath Shetty (JD-S, Moodbidri).

Mr. Bhat is locked in a straight fight with former bureaucrat J.R. Lobo (Congress), Mr. Palemar with businessman B.A. Mohiuddin Bava (Cong) while Mr. Shetty is facing K. Abhayachandra Jain (Cong) and Karnataka Tulu Academy president Umanath A. Kotian (BJP). Mr. Rai is facing Rajesh Naik (BJP).

The most keenly watched contest in the district, however, is Puttur, the home town of BJP vice-president and the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, where former BJP legislator T. Shankuntala Shetty is now contesting as a Congress candidate. She is facing BJP’s Sanjeeva Matandoor, a political novice. Ms. Shetty had contested as an independent candidate in 2008 when the BJP denied her the ticket. She finished third.

In Sullia, BJP’s Angara who is seeking a fourth consecutive victory is facing B. Raghu of the Congress. In Belthangady K. Vasanth Bangera of the Congress is facing the Ranjan Gowda (BJP), the son of his arch rival K. Gangadhara Gowda.

In Mangalore, U.T. Khader (Cong) is facing Chandrahas Ullal of the BJP.