Nation Current Affairs 13 May 2018 Will Lingayat move b ...

Will Lingayat move boomerang on Congress?

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NAUSHAD BIJAPUR
Published May 13, 2018, 6:12 am IST
Updated May 13, 2018, 6:12 am IST
The party, which has 10 seats out of 18 in its kitty in Belagavi, is expected to retain all and increase its tally by one or two more.
Farmers going to work after casting their votes at Gokak in Belagavi district on Saturday. (Photo: KPN)
 Farmers going to work after casting their votes at Gokak in Belagavi district on Saturday. (Photo: KPN)

Belagavi: It could be a close race between the Congress and BJP in many of the 56 assembly segments in Mumbai-Karnataka, usually seen as a bastion of the Congress. A high-profile campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last few days before polling in the region has visibly weakened the Congress's chances and given the BJP an edge.

Also the Congress party's image has taken a beating in this land of the Lingayats after its mishandling of the Lingayat independent religion issue , allowing  the BJP has capitalise on it to defeat several of the Congress party's Lingayat candidates in the fray. As a result, several political heavyweights like Ministers Vinay Kulkarni and M B Patil, who hail from this community, are expected to pay the price.   Ridiculing the Congress for trying to divide Lingayats, the BJP may have been able to keep its votebank in the community intact. Also, sensing that Lingayats across the region were upset with the politicising of the Lingayat issue by the Congress party, the BJP fielded stronger Lingayat candidates  in most parts of Mumbai-Karnataka. And to bolster its chances further, it also accused the Congress  of mishandling the Mahadayi issue. 

 

Many believe that both the Mahadayi and Lingayat issues could backfire  on the Congress in six of the seven districts of the region except Uttara Kannada and that  Belagavi, Dharwad, Gadag and Haveri could be  key to the BJP’s chances of forming the government. The party, which has 10 seats out of 18 in its kitty in Belagavi currently, is expected to retain all and increase its tally by one or two more. In fact, it is expected to excel in all four districts.

While it has emerged as a strong force in the last one-and-a-half decades in Belagavi with the politically influential Jarkiholi and Katti families entering its fold , the BJP may not do as well in Vijayapura where it has merely one seat against the Congress’s seven and in Uttara Kananda, where it has one seat against five of the Congress.

 

But the Congress remains optimistic as many of its leaders including AICC secretary Manikam Tagore feel the party could increase its vote-share in Mumbai Karnataka owing to the good performance of the  Siddaramaiah government. “In Mumbai-Karnataka it is a clash between Siddaramaiah and Yeddyurappa and not Congress  and Modi as claimed by BJP leaders,” they assert.

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Location: India, Karnataka, Belagavi




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