BAGALKOT: A big challenge lies ahead for the district Congress unit following the death of Siddu B Nayamagouda from Jamkhandi in an accident on Monday as he was the only sitting legislator from the party to win in the recently concluded polls in Bagalkot district. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is another leader who managed to win from Badami in the district after migrating from the Varuna constituency. Both the Congressmen registered their wins under a margin of 3,000 votes.
Former legislators Vijayananda Kashyappanavar from Hungund, H Y Meti from Bagalkot, Umashree from Terdal and J T Patil of Bilgi, who were the promising candidates of Congress, lost in the recent polls.
At present, the BJP holds power in five constituencies and Congress in two. But after the demise of Nayamagouda, chances have increased for the opposition BJP to emerge victorious in one more constituency in the district.
To avoid embarrassment and retain Jamkhnadi, Congress may field one of the two sons of Nayamagouda. But this will be a big challenge for S R Patil and R B Thimmappur, who had reportedly forced Siddaramaiah to contest from Badami.
According to sources, to keep Jamkhandi in their pocket, the Congress is planning to field Anand S Nayamgouda, who is the elder son of Nayamgouda, in the by-elections. “He also campaigned for his father in the recently concluded polls. Anand is an MBA graduate and looks after the family business and Jamkhnadi Sugar Factory,” said a party worker.
The BJP, which faced internal disputes, had fielded Srikanth Kulkarni. The other ticket aspirant Sangmesh Nirani, who was left disappointed with the party decision, contested independently and bagged 24,461 votes, which were considered saffron party votes. He played a major role in defeating Kulkarni, benefiting Nayamgouda who won by a margin of 2,795 votes.
Ramu Manuguli, a political analyst, said, “The by-elections will be tough for both the parties. If Congress fields Anand S Nayamgouda, he will get all the Ganiga community votes on the sympathy factor and consolidated votes of the Congress. If BJP succeeds in solving their disputes and gives a chance to Sangmesh Nirani, it is cent per cent certain that the saffron party will increase its tally to 105. If not, it will be an easy win for the Congress.”