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Belagavi LS seat: BJP opts for Mangala Suresh Angadi

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on March 26, 2021

As Bharatiya Janata Party selected Mangala Suresh Angadi, wife of the late Union Minister Suresh Angadi, to contest the Belagavi Lok Sabha by-election, poll watchers in Karnataka are surprised over the sudden decision of the saffron party to opt for dynasty stand. The Opposition Congress named Satish Jarkiholi.

The by-election to Belagavi LS seat has been necessitated by the death of Union Minister Suresh Angadi due to Covid-19 in September 2020. The constituency is a high-stake battle for both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress. Reason being that the district has around 17 legislative Assembly seats, the highest after Bengaluru which has 28 seats.

The BJP is confident of winning Belagavi seat for the fifth time, but the choice of its candidate has surprised many. The party, in the last Lok Sabha elections held in 2019, had denied ticket to Tejaswini Ananth Kumar contest from Bengaluru South constituency, by taking a principled stand against dynastic politics and had instead fielded Tejasvi Surya.

The party also had denied Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s son - BJP Vice-President BY Vijayendra from contesting from Varuna in Mysuru in 2018 on similar stand.

In Belagavi, BJP explored of fielding a new face, but looking at the possibility of a senior Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi candidature, in the eleventh hour took a call to field Angadi's wife to bank on the sympathy wave for the Angadi's family.

A senior party functionary said the choice of Angadi’s wife is mainly to focus on the party's cadre rather than encouraging new entrants to the party like Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has a dominant presence in the district but is embroiled in a CD scandal.

As the CD scandal broke, to take advantage of the changed political scene, the Opposition Congress named Satish Jarkiholi - KPCC working president and the sitting MLA from Yamakanmardi in the district.

Banking on its social engineering skills and powered by his leadership capabilities, the Congress is aiming to win this seat in North Karnataka, as it may open up further during the state assembly elections, two years down the line.

For the other two by-elections for assembly seats in the state, the BJP has fielded Sharanu Salagar for the Basavakalyan seat and for Maski it has chosen Pratap Gowda Patil. While Congress is fielding Basanagouda Turvihal in Maski and Mallama, wife of late Narayan Rao from Basavakalyan.

Published on March 26, 2021

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