BELAGAVI: While the BJP is confident of winning Belagavi Lok Sabha seat for the fifth straight time in the coming bypoll, the Congress has taken up the election as a challenge. After a long-drawn exercise, the party finally decided to field Satish Jarkiholi, one of its most popular and experienced politicians.
KPCC working president, 59-year-old Jarkiholi is sitting MLA from Yamakanmardi in Belagavi district.
He has won two elections to the state Council and three to the Assembly so far, besides having rich experience in handling important portfolios in various state cabinets.Powered by his leadership capabilities, the Congress could win elections to several assembly seats in North Karnataka in the past two decades. Many believe he played an instrumental role in the victory of former CM Siddaramaiah in Badami in the last assembly election.
The Jarkiholi family, with three sitting MLAs, has considerable influence on voters in the region, where he is seen as a future chief minister of Karnataka. Jarkiholi started his political career in 1992 by winning as director of Belagavi District Central Cooperative Bank. He won as MLC from the local bodies constituency in 1997 as a Janata Dal candidate from Belagavi, and retained the seat in the 2004-05 MLC election when he contested on a JDS ticket. He served as Textile Minister in the Congress-JDS cabinet.
After Yamakanmardi assembly segment in Chikkodi LS seat was marked as “reserved for SCs’’, following delimitation in 2008, Jarkiholi won all three assembly elections from this constituency (in 2008, 2013, 2018) on Congress ticket.He was Excise minister in 2013, and Minor Irrigation minister in 2014. He was Forests minister in the Congress-JDS government in 2018.