The upcoming Karnataka elections have the attention of seasoned politicians from the coastal districts in the state, with senior Congress candidates R.V. Deshpande and B. Ramanath Rai contesting for the 10th and 9th consecutive times respectively. K. Gopal Poojary from Baindoor in Udupi district is contesting for the 8th consecutive time followed by Vinay Kumar Sorake for the 6th time from Kaup in Udupi district. U. T. Khader from the Mangaluru constituency is contesting for his 5th consecutive time in the same constituency, showcasing the dynasty politics of the area.
On the other hand, Halady Srinivas Shetty, a senior five-time consecutive MLA from Kundapur in Udupi district, has decided not to contest in the same elections. If the BJP decides to field its six-time consecutive MLA from Sullia S. Angara again he will be contesting the election for the 8th time, since losing the 1989 Assembly elections in the area.
Except for K. Gopal Poojary, all the senior Congress candidates have held ministerial positions with various portfolios. On the other hand, Poojary has served as Chairman of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). It was in 1999 that Deshpande switched over to the Congress from the Janata Parivar and won four elections from the Janata Pariwar. Sorake had won from Puttur in Dakshina Kannada twice in 1985 and 1989 and later lost from the same constituency in 1994. He became a MLA from Kaup constituency in 2013 and lost from the same constituency in 2018.
The elections of the senior Congress candidates from the coastal districts thus provide a glimpse into the political structure in the area and showcases the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the Karnataka elections in the coming days.