Horatti wins record 8th term on own popularity

After his victory, Horatti said he had expected to win about 9,000 votes, but ended up winning more.

Published: 16th June 2022 05:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2022 05:03 AM   |  A+A-

​MLC Basavaraj Horatti receives the official certificate from Returning Officer Amlan Aditya Biswas after his victory in Belagavi on Wednesday | Express ​

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: Veteran politician Basavaraj Horatti created a unique record in the state legislature, winning eight MLC elections in a row. He achieved the rare feat with his win from North West Teachers’ constituency on Wednesday, defeating his nearest rival, Basavaraj Gurikar, by 4,699 votes.

At the end of counting of ballots at Jyoti College, Belagavi, on Wednesday, Horatti of the BJP polled 9,266 first preferential votes, against 4,597 polled by Gurikar of the Congress. Horatti (76) served as Chairman of the Legislative Council for 14 months, starting in February last year, and switched to the BJP recently. He was with the JDS for several years and carved a niche for himself in North West Teachers’ constituency, where he has won on his individual image and popularity, rather than his party symbol. Horatti had served as Legislative Council Chairman for six months in 2018, as a JDS member.

After his victory, Horatti said he had expected to win about 9,000 votes, but ended up winning more. He thanked the teachers for reposing faith in him, and said he would continue to work for their welfare. “It is unfortunate that more than 1,000 votes cast by teachers were termed invalid. I feel ashamed to see such votes -- while some voters have signed strangely on the ballot papers, others have scratched with pens,’’ he said.

Asked whether his defection to the BJP helped him, Horatti said that in the last last election, his BJP rival had got a considerable number of votes. “The votes cast in favour of the BJP last time got added to my tally this time. That’s why I was able to cross 9,000 votes,’’ he added.

To a question whether he would continue as Legislative Council chairman or would like to join the state cabinet, Horatti said he was not clear about the upcoming developments, and the matter was best left to the BJP. The party had not given him any kind of assurance, he said.

“I have been pressing the government for the appointment of more teachers, and will continue to do so. I held a meeting with the CM when I was Council Chairman but the process of appointments got delayed due to the Covid crisis. The government has assured me it will be taken up soon,” he said.


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