Old warhorse, newbie shine in Karnataka's Belgavi, Chikkodi

Soon after his victory, Shettar said he had expected his victory in Belagavi.
BJP leader and former CM Jagadish Shettar
BJP leader and former CM Jagadish ShettarFile photo

BELAGAVI: Notwithstanding the all-out efforts by the Congress to bounce back in Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP managed to continue its winning spree registering a landslide victory against the Congress for the sixth time in a row. Against a formidable rival Mrinal Hebbalkar of the Congress, Jagadish Shettar, a former CM, bagged 7.56 lakh votes while the former accounted for 5.8 lakh votes.

In Chikkodi, Priyanka Jarkiholi, just 27 years of age, of the Congress defeated incumbent MP Annasaheb Jolle of BJP by a margin of 1.1 lakh votes. The BJP’s decision to field Jolle, ignoring several other prominent party leaders, including Mahantesh Kavatagimath and Ramesh Katti, backfired, opined political pundits.

Soon after his victory, Shettar said he had expected his victory in Belagavi. The former CM said he would take all MLAs from Belagavi into confidence and prepare a vision document for the overall development of the constituency.

Since 2004, the BJP has won all the last six elections with the late Suresh Angadi winning five elections since 2004. After the demise of Angadi due to Covid-19, his wife Mangala Angadi won the bypolls held in 2022 against Congress’ Satish Jarkiholi.

When the BJP decided to field Shettar from Belagavi this time, many leaders from Belagavi district opposed his candidature and appealed to the party to field a local leader. However, the party was able to pacify all the disgruntled aspirants and fielded Shettar against the wishes of all the party leaders.

In Chikkodi, the BJP was confident of a win where PM Narendra Modi held a campaign weeks ahead of the polls. Despite winning three of the eight Assembly segments in 2023, the BJP leadership failed to take on Congress’ Priyanka Jarkiholi, a debutant.

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