Mangaluru: The saffron wave has swept the coastal belt, but the only pocket that withstood the safrron onslaught was the Mangaluru constituency. Battered by the turbulent sea waves on one side and torn by the communal unrest on the other, this sensitive constituency has, since years found solace in the arms of its legislator- UT Khader.
Apart from winning over the constituency for the fourth consecutive time, Khader's bigger accomplishment is that he is the only Congress MLA who has restored his place in the undivided Dakshina Kannada district.
Simple, down to earth, approachable and accessible Khader has had several factors working in his favour and the voters in the constituency say that he has grown to be an 'undisputed' leader in the constituency purely because of his inclusive politics in a constituency which has a Muslim majority.
Khader has repeated a marvellous victory this time with a 19,739 margin lead. As one attempts to decode his popularity, it is evident that his success comes in layers.
Over the years, Khader had been largely appreciated as a Good Samaritan who always goes out of his way to help the needy. The young leader has several times hit headlines for helping the road accident victims or giving away his own car for the cause. As a health minister or as minister for food and civil supplies, Khader's work and programmes have been widely appreciated by all including governments from other states.
"Khader had inherited a lot of things from his father and former MLA UT Fareed. He is friendly and approchable and that is one factor that has always made him win hearts. They listen to his people and mixes with them. Whether it is an event in Masjid or an event in the Daivasthana, Khader does not differentiate. The communal situation has been maintained this way only because of his judicious approach," say many locals.
Fareed too was immensely popular among the people and Khader was always looked at as an able heir to his legacy. In 2007, when Fareed, four-time MLA died, the entire constituency and the party had turned to Khader, who had, by then, already proved his mettle as a de-factor MLA.
He is the leader of the masses and this one character of his catapulted him to the position where he is. No anti-incumbency factor and no conspiracy could dislodge this leader.
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