It’s advantage Congress in Phase 2: Mallikarjun Kharge

Party is confident of big haul in Hyderabad-Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka, optimistic in Central Karnataka: Source.

Bengaluru: “I studied well, so I wrote my exam perfectly and hence, I am confident that I will pass this examination with good marks," remarked Congress leader in the Lok Sabha M. Mallikarjun Kharge after polling in his constituency, Kalaburagi ended on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Kalaburgi, Mr Kharge said, “I am very confident that the Congress party will do better in this phase than what we achieved in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.” Mr Kharge's statement summed up the feelings of Congress leaders in the state several of whom told Deccan Chronicle that the party expected to do exceptionally well in Hyderabad-Karnataka region where it did not mess up during the candidate selection process.

“Hyderabad-Karnataka consists of five Lok Sabha seats - Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Koppal and Ballari. Of these five, the party will surely win Bidar, Kalburagi and Raichur where our strong leaders - KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre, Mr Kharge and B.V. Nayak are contesting. In Ballari and Koppal, the Congress enjoys an edge over the BJP, hence, it is almost certain that we will win no less four seats of the five," the source explained.

The source added that with the voting going up by almost four per cent compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Mumbai-Karnataka which is considered to be a stronghold of the BJP, it looks like the Congress is on the comeback trail here too.

“In Mumbai-Karnataka, we were confident of winning only Chikkodi before going to the polls, now it looks like we have an edge in seats like Haveri and Bagalkote too. We may not fare well in Belagavi and Dharwad while in In Vijayapura and Uttara Kannada, where JD(S) candidates are contesting, they may not win these seats," the source contended.

In central Karnataka, Congress leaders are optimistic that the JD(S) might give BJP state president, B. S. Yeddyurappa's son B.Y. Raghavendra a run for his money, as Madhu Bangarappa proved to a tough candidate. " It is very difficult to predict who will win this seat at this juncture," the source explained.

The source added that in Davangere Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP has a clear edge over the Congress party's candidate, H. B. Manjappa, though this seat is considered to a bastion of Congress party veteran, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa.

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