Five out of nine: Kalyana-Karnataka region saves face for Congress

In Bidar, Sagar Khandre of Congress secured 6,66,317 votes, while BJP’s Bhagwanth Khuba had 5,37,442 votes.
Congress party flag used as representational image
Congress party flag used as representational imagePhoto | Express

KALABURAGI: Kalyana-Karnataka saved the face for Congress, as out of nine seats it won in the Lok Sabha elections, five are from this region. It has also saved the prestige of AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, as there is a clean sweep for the party in all the Lok Sabha segments — Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Koppal and Bellary. Even in the Shorapur Assembly constituency, where the by-election was conducted, Congress retained the seat.

In Bidar, Sagar Khandre of Congress secured 6,66,317 votes, while BJP’s Bhagwanth Khuba 5,37,442 votes.

In Gulbarga, Congress’ Radhakrishna Dodmani defeated BJP’s Dr Umesh Jadhav by a margin of 28,811 votes. Dodmani secured 6,53,124 votes, as against Jadhav’s 6,24,313 votes.

In Bellary, Congress’ E Tukaram defeated former minister B Sriramalu by a margin of 98,992 votes.

In Raichur (ST reserved), Congress candidate G Kumar Nayak defeated BJP’s Raja Amareshwara Nayak by a margin of 79,781 votes. Kumar Nayak secured 6,70,966 votes, as against Amareshwara Nayak’s 5,91,185 votes.

In Koppal, Congress’ K Rajashekhar Basavaraj Hitnal defeated BJP candidate Dr Basavaraj K Sharanappa by 46,357 votes. Hitnal secured 6,63,511 votes, while Dr Basavaraj 6,17,154 votes.

Congress fielded three candidates in the region who were new to elections, and all of them won in Bidar, Gulbarga and Raichur constituencies. In Gulbarga, Congress fielded Dodmani, son-in-law and brother-in-law of Kharge. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP candidate Dr Jadhav had defeated Kharge by a margin of 95,452 votes.

Sagar, who is 26 years old, is probably the youngest candidate to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Congress in the state. He avenged the defeat of his father Eshwar Khandre, who was beaten by Khuba by a margin of 1,16,834 votes in 2019.

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