Congress leader and former MLA from Chengannur in Kerala PC Vishnunath, who is one of the party in-charges in poll-bound Karnataka, told Indianexpress.com in an exclusive interview that people of Mangalore want peace and freedom to choose their food and partners. "Today, I am confident that we have a good organisation. Especially in Dakshina Kannada and Mangalore, the Congress has always been strong. People here want peace. They want to have the freedom to choose their partner or a choice of food. Last time in 2013, We swept the region winning 7 out of 8 seats," he said.
Vishnunath, who is in charge of districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagalur, Mandya, Hassan, Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Coorg, said, "In 2014, there may have been a Modi wave, but today that 'tharangam' (wave) has turned into a 'durantham' (disaster). Demonetisation and GST has had terrible effects on the people."
He attributed the rise of the BJP to the Janata Dal. "The only reason BJP was able to grow here in Karnataka in the 80s and 90s is because of the Janata Dal. That's why, we are always opposed to the Janata Dal. JD(s) is secular only in name," he said.
"We are confident of winning 120-125 seats. There is no doubt. Siddaramaiah is very popular in the state compared to Yeddyurappa and Kumaraswamy. In fact, BJP has brought in Yeddyurappa only for the Lingayat votes. Other than that, he is useless. We are effectively encashing on the popularity of Siddaramaiah as a leader," added Vishnunath.
Mangalore South constituency has 2.26 lakh voters. Christians, mainly Catholics, comprise 48,900 voters, Muslims number up to 57,400 and the rest are Hindu voters. In the 2013 assembly elections, Congress' JR Lobo won the Mangalore South constituency by 12, 275 votes. Lobo got 67,829 votes, while his nearest rival, BJP's Yogish Bhat, received 55,554 votes. The Mangalore South constituency saw 66.72 per cent turnout while the whole state saw 71.29 per cent voters exercising their franchise.
MANGALORE CITY SOUTH ELECTIONS 2018 RESULTS/CANDIDATES