The late PM, Indira Gandhi, got a political rebirth after winning the 1978 bye-election from Chikmagaluru LS constituency (Udupi was not a part of this constituency then) after losing Rae Bareli in the 1977 general elections.

Though Udupi-Chikmagaluru constituency has been majorly represented by BJP after the delimitation in 2008, this constituency revived the prospects of Congress again in a bye-election in 2012. This constituency went in for bye-election after the then MP from the constituency DV Sadananda Gowda assumed charge as Karnataka Chief Minister in 2011.

The 2008 delimitation exercise brought Kundapura, Udupi, Kapu and Karkala assembly constituencies in Udupi district together with Sringeri, Mudigere, Chikmagaluru and Tarikere assembly constituencies in Chikmagaluru district to form Udupi-Chikmagaluru LS constituency.

Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, has been representing this constituency since 2014.

Pressing issues

While Udupi district mainly consists of coastal areas, Chikmagaluru is known for its hills. Just like their geographical differences, the voters from these two districts have their own issues to tell in this constituency.

Expressing his concerns over the diseases related to arecanut plantations in Sringeri, Harish Gowda, a farmer from Sringeri taluk, said this area has been facing the problem of ‘yellow leaf disease’ in arecanut for the past 25 years, and a solution remains elusive till today.

With a significant portion of forest areas diminishing in this hill district, there is a need to focus on increasing the forest cover in Chikmagaluru to tackle the problems being faced by climate change, he said.

Stressing the need to focus on better healthcare facilities in his district, he said people from his region have to rely upon hospitals in Udupi district if they face any major health issues. It is time for elected representatives to set up a tertiary care hospital in Chikmagaluru, he said.


Shekara P from Udupi said that several road projects in his district are progressing slowly.

Giving the example of a 3.5 km stretch of National Highway from Adi-Udupi to Malpe, he said it is yet to be made a four-lane highway. Narrow roads on this stretch is creating problems for the movement of vehicles from Malpe fisheries harbour to other places.

Despite the constituency’s MP having a ministerial berth in the Centre, various issues remained unresolved, he said.

‘Guarantee schemes’ of the Karnataka Congress government have made an impact among several people in his district, he added.

Agreeing that some road works are not moving at the expected pace, Raghavendra G, a resident of Hiriyadka village in Udupi district, said many other projects and initiatives of the Central government have been successfully implemented in the district.

Recalling the death of his mother due to Covid, he said he got one of the best services and compensation from the Government then.

Stating that BJP workers rely on Modi’s popularity, he said: “Various developmental projects of the Centre are not publicised like the freebies of some other parties.”

In the current election, BJP has fielded Kota Srinivasa Poojari, a former Minister in the Karnataka government, and the Congress has fielded Jayaprakash Hegde. He was with BJP earlier.

On the current candidates for Lok Sabha election, he said while Hegde is seen as a party-hopper during elections, Poojari has the experience from the gram panchayat to state level.