Who'll it be for Belagavi North, South? Laxminarayan, Ibrahim top Congress list

A large section of Muslim voters played a key role in the victory of Sait in the last two elections.

Belagavi: Belagavi is heating up politically ahead of the assembly elections next year, as the Congress is contemplating fielding its senior leaders MLCs Laxminarayan and C.M. Ibrahim from Belagavi South and Belagavi North assembly segments, respectively. The sudden political developments may have shocked sitting MLA Feroz Sait, who is seen as a popular leader in Belagavi city, winning two elections from the North constituency consecutively.

It is still unclear whether Mr Ibrahim will be fielded, but his recent closed-door meetings with several Muslim leaders from the Congress and JD(S) here are a clear indication that his supporters in Belagavi are exerting pressure on him to contest. A large section of Muslim voters played a key role in the victory of Sait in the last two elections. But a section of Muslim leaders from Belagavi is supporting Ibrahim, claiming that Sait has lost his popularity among community members in recent times. They say that if the BJP and MES candidates have to be defeated in the coming election too, the Congress high command should field Ibrahim.

Sait prevailed in the previous two elections, despite the BJP and MES fielding strong candidates. In fact, his victory margin grew in the second election as people from different communities voted for him because of various development works executed by him during his terms. Many Congress leaders feel that there is no logic in replacing Sait with Ibrahim at a time when the former continues to enjoy popular support. They also feel that Sait is a strong contender for a minister's post, if he wins the next election too.

In Belagavi South, the party seems to be keen on giving the ticket to Laxminarayan, who represents the weaver community which plays a major role in the constituency. It is felt that Laxminarayan can consolidate weaver votes, which were split between BJP and MES candidates till now.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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