Elections 2021

14 Karnataka seats to vote today; Kharge, sons of former CMs in fray

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on April 22, 2019

Congress leader M Mallikarjun Kharge

BJP banks on Modi charm, Congress on backward classes

A total of 237 candidates are in the fray as 14 of 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka going to the polls on Tuesday.

It is a straight fight between the Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the constituencies going to the polls – six in the Mumbai-Karnataka region, five in Hyderabad-Karnataka, two in central Karnataka and one in coastal-Karnataka.

The BJP is harping on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and the Lingayat issue while the Congress party is banking on the consolidation of votes among the Ahinda (the Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits). Local problems or the development works done by the previous Congress government have taken the backseat.


Political parties have not raised the real issues of the region – industrial backwardness, unemployment, and the failure to exploit the area’s tourism potential. The region has huge untapped potential in manufacturing.

In the Assembly elections held last May, both the Congress and the BJP raised the most emotive issue of the sharing of the Mahadayi waters with Goa or creating irrigation potential by using the Krishna warters. This time around, it has become a non-issue.


The most backward region of the State, Hyderabad-Karnataka has made progress in implementing Article 371-J (Article 371-J is a Constitution amendment which accords special status to the region for reservations in education and employment).

The region gets to fill 800 medical (MBBS) seats and 3,000 enginerring (BE) seats and fill nearly 10,000 government posts. The Veerashaiva–Lingayat religion issue which rocked the region during the last Assembly elections is missing now.


Industrial activity began under the princely rule and was sustained post-Independence. Many industrial units now are either shut or on the verge of closure.

This has led to unemployment. But in the last decade, the Lingayat-Veerashaiva community’s separate religion status has taken the spotlight away from pressing industrial matters.

Leaders in fray

This phase of the polls will determine the future of the Congress veteran in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who is fighting BJP’s Umesh Jadhav in Kalaburagi; and the children of two former Chief Ministrers, BY Raghavendra and Madhu Bangarappa, who are pitted against each other in Shivamogga.

Others in the fray include Union Ministers Anant Kumar Hegde from Uttara Kannada and Ramesh Jigajinagi from Vijayapura.

Published on April 22, 2019

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