Mangaluru: The Mangaluru city south constituency is highly urbanised in character, after the delimitation there are three urban Mangaluru constituencies, Mangaluru city North, Mangaluru and Mangaluru city South. Surathkal and Ullal constituencies, both once satellite towns of Mangaluru mini metro now form into three constituencies of Mangaluru.
MLA of Mangaluru city South J R Lobo is the first MLA of the newly configured constituency. It is not a bed of roses for the first time MLA of a highly demanding constituency. Contesting for the first time after an illustrious career in the state civil services, Lobo was a natural choice for the MLA candidature in 2013. He won with a convincing margin of 9.27 per cent votes in a total of 2,05,65 voters against the four time MLA N Yogish Bhat of BJP. Psephologists in Mangaluru say that it was a decisive vote against the incumbency but Lobo was known to the people as the Commissioner of Mangaluru City Corporation, Executive Director of the Pilikula Nisarga Dhama, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Headquarter Assistant to the DC) and the project director of the KUIDFC in the last leg of his illustrious career as an officer of the Karnataka Administrative Services. In him his voters had seen an upright officer and a candidate who knew Mangaluru’s infrastructure and civic needs.
Former Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily who is a mentor of Lobo, says “Lobo was an apt candidate in 2013 when Mangaluru city was getting big infrastructure projects, after the elections Lobo who knew the inroads in the government, both at the state and the centre could plough through the bureaucracy to bring the funding with the help of the Chief Minister”.
“My constituency has 35 wards of the Mangaluru city Corporation. Since the city is going into the smart city, there is not much time to fully prepare the city, which is why I want to take the city on overdrive in development of infrastructure. Most of the roads of Mangaluru city have been converted into hard tarmac (concrete) or some of them are in the process. Even the bituminous surface roads will be fully made up with paver finish technology. It is not my intention to brag about my achievements in the last four years, but the truth is also that the city has seen a slew of developments not just in infrastructure but also social sector over the last four years,” said Lobo adding that the water problem has been fully dealt with.
“I am sure we will be able to supply 135 liters per person every day which is on lines with the WHO recommendations,” Lobo told.
Even the opposition has never had any grouse against this gentleman MLA. With this popularity, will he be projected as the Congress candidate for 2018 from the same seat? When asked, his mentor Veerappa Moily said there are no plans to unseat any sitting MLA from their incumbent position. “It is not the culture of Congress party. I am sure with Lobo’s penchant for development there will be no second thoughts about his return to electioneering,” he said.
However, his own partymen think that he works silently and that is not going to help the party or himself in the next elections. These are the days of self glorification and advertising, he must go vigorously into the publicity which catches the eye of the voter, party leadership and perk up the spirits of his supporters.
What locals say
Damodar Baliga Urva Chilimbi (banker):
Though I am a hardcore BJP voter I feel very bad for not having voted for Lobo in 2013, Lobo has no ill feeling towards anybody, in my community almost everyone is a BJP voter, he knows I would not have voted for him, but he still came to my residential area and got the things done especially the works on road, underground drainage. After searching for the answers to my question- ‘who is good the party or the person’ has been answered. And in Lobo’s case my question has been answered with proof”.
Vincent Pinto Valencia (shop keeper):
“I am the last person to vote on the basis of community, I do not believe in caste and community system. When I voted, I followed my learning about the candidate and not any other consideration including party. I may sound little cockeyed in the present socio-political milieu, if the Congress party is serious about its prospects in the next poll (2018) the party should field more candidates like Lobo”.
Jagannath Rao, Jeppu Kudpady (retired government official):
“I have worked under his guidance when I was in service. He leads by example. When he was the Headquarters assistant to the Deputy Commissioner he left no chance for errors. Now he is our MLA and he has the same meticulousness, which is why though the work appears to be slow, it is on firm footing”