Coffee, Naxals and God to decide winner in UC constituency | india | Hindustan Times
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Coffee, Naxals and God to decide winner in UC constituency

india Updated: Apr 24, 2009 10:21 IST
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It is coffee, Naxals and God that dominate the issues in the newly-carved state's largest parliamentary constituency Udupi-Chickamaglur.

The constituency is hit by Naxal menace, affected by woes of plantation growers and toddy tappers and torn apart by controversy over centuries old Hindu-Muslim shrine Bababudangiri/Datta Peetha.

Ruling BJP's state unit president, D V Sadananda Gowda, is taking on Jayaprakash Hegde of Congress among others. Gowda, who won the Lok Sabha seat from Mangalore in the last elections, has shifted to Udupi-Chikamagalur, considered safe for the BJP which had garnered 46.89 per cent of total votes in the 2008 assembly elections in the segments falling under the new constituency.

Besides, three assembly segments from Kodagu district which formed part of Mangalore seat and held by BJP have now come under this constituency.

The Naxal menace continues to raise its ugly head in the constituency despite government's two-pronged strategy of hunting down Naxals and announcing a developmental package to the people in a bid to address the root cause that breeds extremism.

Coffee growers in Chikmagalur, considered the land of Indian coffee, are in dolldrums due to drought, heavy rains and steep fall in prices with diseases affecting the plants, causing a drop in production.