Congress new face favourite for Belgaum LS ticket
Belgaum: The Congress could for the first time field not only a young leader but a woman from Belgaum constitutency ignoring some of the political heavyweights in the parliamentary elections if it goes by popular opinion in the party.
While some senior and experienced party leaders from Belgaum have lobbied for the ticket over the past few months, several other leaders from Belgaum led by the Jarkiholi brothers have submitted letters in favour of Belgaum District Congress president, Laxmi Hebbalkar to the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
It is believed that a number of party leaders in Bangalore too are keen on fielding Hebbalkar and Ganesh Hukkeri, son of minister Prakash Hukkeri from the Chikkodi parliamentary constituency as he is a popular young leader.
“District minister Satish Jarkiholi has come out in support of Laxmi Hebbalkar for the social work she has been doing at the grassroots for the past few years. She also happens to be a Lingayat,'' said Congress leader Basavaraj Shegavi.
According to sources, the Jarkiholis had planned to field their younger brother, Lakhan Jarkiholi from Belgaum but decided against it to make way for Hebbalkar who has been actively involved in the district’s politics for some years now.
They think she has a winning chance as sitting MP, Suresh Angadi has not performed satisfactorily in his second term.
“When contacted, Hebbalkar said, “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is happy that I have emerged as the consensus candidate for the party ticket from Belgaum. He has asked me to work hard in the constituency to fight the elections successfully.''
But not everyone is happy with the backing Hebbalkar is receiving. “Suresh Angadi of BJP is a strong contender having won twice from Belgaum. Laxmi is young and recently lost the Assembly elections from Belgaum Rural. The party's gamble in fielding youngsters from both Belgaum and Chikkodi may boomerang on it as BJP MPs are experienced politicians,'' said one unhappy local leader.