KITTUR, BELAGAVI: Like the BJP, which witnessed rebellion in several constituencies over party tickets, Congress ahead of the release of its first list is wary of the same. Voices of discord are already being heard in Kittur constituency of the district, where five-time MLA D B Inamadar might face some tough competition from within his party and family.
D B Inamdar has contested from the constituency eight times – twice from Janata Party, once from Janata Dal and five times on a Congress ticket. Though he suffered consecutive defeats at the hands of BJP’s Suresh Marihal in 2003 and 2008, Inamdar was able to defeat him in 2013.
Apart from the BJP candidate, Inamdar might find opposition from his relative Babasaheb Patil in this election. Though the two were in good terms till recently, their relationship started on a downward spiral about seven months ago.
Speaking to Express, Patil said differences arose between the two after Inamdar changed his mind about who would contest on the Congress ticket in Kittur next. “During Kittur Utsav last year, Inamdar had announced that he would retire from electoral politics and would not contest the polls. Now, with elections days away, he has gone back on his word,” he said.
As a result, Patil has rebelled against the sitting MLA and is actively campaigning in the constituency. “I am among the list of hopefuls to contest on a Congress ticket from Kittur. If Congress assures tickets to all sitting MLAs, I will be out of the list. If they consider reports of the survey conducted by the party, I am in as a candidate. Irrespective of this, I will contest,” he said. Patil’s wife is currently a zilla panchayat member from Sampagaon.
However, both D B Inamdar and his supporters seem undaunted by the ‘relative’ challenge. According to Ramesh S, a Congress worker, Inamdar won the last election by over 18,000 votes. “There are a lot of voters who have been traditionally voting for Congress. This, combined with the abundant developmental works the party has done, will secure him an easy win,” he said.
Though the ticket for the constituency, either to Inamdar or Patil has not yet been announced, sources say the contest is likely to benefit BJP candidate Suresh Marihal in a constituency that boasts of 35 per cent Lingayats.