KJ George, NA Haris, UT Khader | Photos: Mathrubhumi, agencies
Bengaluru: Candidates with Kerala origins did well in the 2023 Assembly election too in Karnataka.
Congress candidate and former minister KJ George won from Sarvagnanagar in Bengaluru bagging 61.04 per cent votes. This is his sixth win from Sarvagnanagar.
George, 76, who hails from a farming family that migrated from Chingavanam in Kottayam to Kodagu in Karnataka, started his political career with the Youth Congress at 20. He is a powerful Congress leader in Karnataka who rose to the position of home minister in the HD Kumaraswamy cabinet in 2018. He is popular among Bengalureans as a well-performing minister.
UT Khader, 53, another former minister, registered his fifth consecutive victory in the Mangalore constituency. He has roots in Kasaragod. He won with a 22,000 vote lead. As a member of the Siddaramaiah cabinet, he headed health, food and urban development departments from 2013 to 2018. He is currently deputy opposition leader. Khader’s father UT Fareed has represented the Ullal constituency (now Mangalore) for 18 years. Khader took over the constituency in 2007. He was also the only Congress MLA from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in 2018. However, this term, he has got companions.
NA Haris, 56, another Karnataka Congress leader with roots in Kasaragod, won the election in Shanti Nagar. He initially trailed in his fourth contest in the constituency. However, in the final rounds, he overcame the BJP candidate and secured a margin of more than 7,000 votes. Haris was born to businessman NA Mohammed, who relocated from Kasaragod to Bhadravati in Karnataka to establish a metal scrapping shop in 1960. Afterward, he shifted to Bengaluru and started working on government construction projects. Eventually, he established the Nalapad Group of Hotels. Haris’ son Mohammed Haris Nalapad is the Youth Congress state president.
K Mathai, a Malayali contesting for the Aam Aadmi Party against Haris, is in third place with 1,594 votes.
CM Faiz, son of CM Ibrahim, who contested from Homnabad on a JD(S) ticket, secured third place with 25,900 votes. Ibrahim is a former union minister in the governments of Deve Gowda and IK Gujral. He contested from the Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency in 1999 for LDF as part of JD(S) and lost to K Muraleedharan. Ibrahim also had a stint with the Congress party. He is currently the state president of JD(S).