Umesh Katti, a relentless fighter for separate North Karnataka state

The Kattis of Hukkeri shot to prominence after the victory of Umesh Katti as MLA for the first time in 1985 as a member of the Janata Dal.

Published: 07th September 2022 05:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2022 05:48 AM   |  A+A-

Umesh Katti had contested nine state Assembly elections and won eight of them, which is record of sorts in state politics | file

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: Food and Civil Supplies and Forest Minister Umesh Katti, a veteran politician, had created a record of sorts in the state politics winning eight of the nine elections he contested. For the last one decade, Katti had been relentlessly demanding the formation of a new North Karnataka state, contending that the region remained neglected ever since the reorganisation of states.

Despite the warnings issued by JDU, JDS and BJP, which he represented during his political career spanning four decades, Katti stood firm on his demand and raised the issue time and again. Because of his popularity and the massive support he had drawn from the dominant Lingayat community in North Karnataka, he had seen himself as a potential chief minister candidate.

Born on March 14, 1961, he hailed from the rich and famous Katti family of Hukkeri. He entered state politics in the early 80s and contested the bypolls in 1985 to become MLA for the first time after the demise of his father Vishwanath Katti (former MLA). Since then, he contested nine Assembly elections and won eight of them. The only election he lost was to Shashikant Naik in 2004 (BJP).

The Kattis of Hukkeri shot to prominence after the victory of Umesh Katti as MLA for the first time in 1985 as a member of the Janata Dal. The Katti family was able to gain a stranglehold on the thriving cooperative sector in Belagavi since then and was eventually able to scale dizzying heights in the field of politics.

Former MP of Chikkodi, Ramesh Katti, Umesh’s brother, won several elections to DCC Bank and currently holds the position of chairman there. To reap the benefits of Kattis’ political clout, the BJP roped in the two brothers into the party in 2008.Since then, the saffron outfit has been able to win a majority of seats in the North Karnataka region, particularly in Belagavi district.

Ramesh Katti (BJP) won the Lok Sabha election from Chikkodi constituency defeating well-known politician Prakash Hukkeri of Congress in 2009. Umesh Katti contested all the elections to the state assembly (since 1985) from JDU and JDS until he contested the 2008 poll on a BJP ticket.The BJP government headed by BS Yediyurappa had not inducted Katti into the cabinet but later allotted important portfolios to him in order to stop him from causing a rebellion in the party.


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