In Belagavi, parties bank on time-tested veterans

The incident hardly dented his image as he appears to be heading for his fifth win in Athani constituency.

Belagavi: It’s the battle of the veterans in Belagavi with many of the contestants being past masters of the electoral game, winning several times from the constituencies they are contesting from these elections. Mr Umesh Katti of the Bharatiya Janata Party, for instance, is hoping to create a record and be the first from Belagavi to win eight elections.

Having won seven of the eight elections he has contested already, he is preparing to contest his ninth from Belagavi and win it. Also in the fray is Mr D B Inamdar of the Congress who has won five elections from the district , and brothers Satish, Ramesh and Balachandra Jarkiholi, who have won four each and Mr Raju Kage who too has won four elections.

Mr Laxman Savadi and Mr Kakasaheb Patil have three wins to their name.

Mr Umesh Katti won his first byelection in Hukkeri by a margin of 22,000 votes in 1985 after the death of his father, V M Katti. He then went on to win the next three elections back to back, but lost in 2004.

He , however, bounced back to win the last three elections. This time with a weaker opponent in Mr A B Patil of the Congress, he has every chance of winning his eighth election. A member of Kittur's rich Inamdar family, Mr D B Inamdar of the Congress has won five elections since 1983.

This time he is pitted against BJP's Mahantesh Doddagoudar in Kittur.

A popular leader of Belagavi rural, Bharamgouda Kage of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has won the last four elections from Kagwad constituency.

He won his first election in 2000 on a Janata Dal (United) ticket and the next three as a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate.

A farmers’ leader, Mr Laxman Savadi of the BJP enjoys huge support among voters despite being caught watching pornography in the state assembly a few years ago.

The incident hardly dented his image as he appears to be heading for his fifth win in Athani constituency.

The three Jarkiholi brothers, Satish, Ramesh and Balachandra, have won all the last four elections to the assembly.

While Satish and Ramesh are in the fray as Congress candidates from Yamakanmardi and Gokak constituencies respectively, Mr Balachandra is contesting on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket from Arbhavi constituency.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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