Three of the six returning MLAs in Dakshina Kannada have improved their victory margin in the 2023 elections over the margins of the 2018 elections while three new faces, one in Dakshina Kannada and two in Udupi district from the returning party, BJP, too won by increased margin.
Interestingly, all the three returning MLAs are from Mangaluru region. Mangaluru City North MLA Y. Bharath Shetty not only crossed the one lakh mark by polling 1,03,531 votes (56.77% of votes polled), but also improved the victory margin from 26,448 in 2018 to 32,922.
The next highest improved margin among returning MLAs was Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyasa Kamath, whose victory margin rose from 16,075 to 23,962. His vote share too improved, from 52.97% to 56.46%. Runner-up J.R. Lobo from the Congress polled lesser votes in 2,023 (67,475) compared to 70,470 votes he got in 2018.
Former minister U.T. Khader, returning for the fifth time to the Assembly improved his victory margin from 19,739 in 2018 to 22,790 in 2023. However, his vote share came down from 54.11% to 52.01 %.
Among the new faces of the BJP who improved victory margins of the party include Bhagirathi Marulya at Sullia. While S. Angara had polled 95,205 votes (56.53% votes) to win the 2018 elections by a margin of 26,068 votes, Ms. Marulya polled 93,911 votes (57.01%) to win the 2023 polls by a margin of 30,876 votes.
In Udupi, Yashpal A. Suvarna of the BJP improved the victory margin from 12,044 in 2018 to 32,776 in 2023. K. Raghupathi Bhat had polled 84,946 votes (52.31%) against Pramod Madhwaraj of the Congress, who had secured 72,902 votes in 2018. With Mr. Madhwaraj being with the BJP this time, the total votes polled and the victory margin for the party too appear to have increased significantly.
New entrant Gurme Suresh Shetty of the BJP improved the party’s victory margin in Kaup from 11,917 in 2018 votes to 13,004 votes in 2023. Mr. Shetty polled 80,559 votes (53.23%) while Lalaji R. Mendon of the BJP had polled 75,893 votes (52.54% of votes) in 2018.
Victory margins of returning MLAs of the BJP have decreased in Karkala, 42,566 to 4,602; Belthangady, 22,974 to 18,216, Bantwal, 15,971 to 8,282 and Moodbidri, 29,799 to 22,468 from the 2018 polls to the 2023 polls. Similarly, the margin of the BJP reduced in Kundapura, from 56,405 to 41,556, and Byndoor, from 24,393 to 16,153, where new faces were fielded