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Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | Will a ‘greenhorn’ with family legacy halt BJP juggernaut in Bagalkot?

The Bagalkot constituency will see a new record this election no matter which party wins. If sitting BJP MP P C Gaddigoudar wins, he will be the first in the constituency to win five times in a row. If Congress candidate Samyukta Patil wins, she will become the first woman MP from the constituency.
Last Updated : 29 April 2024, 21:13 IST
Last Updated : 29 April 2024, 21:13 IST

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The Bagalkot constituency will see a new record this election no matter which party wins. If sitting BJP MP P C Gaddigoudar wins, he will be the first in the constituency to win five times in a row. If Congress candidate Samyukta Patil wins, she will become the first woman MP from the constituency.

The constituency comprises Mudhol, Terdal, Jamkhandi, Bilagi, Badami, Bagalkot, Hungund assembly constituencies of Bagalkot district and Nargund assembly constituency of Gadag district.

The farmers of the district, who have parted with their fertile land and livelihoods for the Upper Krishna Project, feel betrayed as the successive governments failed to provide adequate compensation and rehabilitation.

It has been decades since the evacuees are struggling to lead a dignified life.

“Unfortunately, the local leaders who are engrossed in calculating caste equations to win elections have not been raising these issues before the people during campaign,” says Veerangouda Patil of Badami.

Krishna water diversion

To rub salt on the wound, the leaders in south Karnataka are talking of diverting Krishna waters from Almatti reservoir to fill the tanks of south Karnataka districts. JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda has spoken of getting Krishna water to southern districts if the Modi-led NDA retains power in the ensuing Lok Sabha election.

“Deve Gowda has been biased against the interests of north Karnataka. He had  opposed setting up of SWR headquarters at Hubballi. He has done precious little for the irrigation schemes in the region. Now, he is talking of diverting Krishna water to the southern districts. The people of north Karnataka should wake up from slumber and prevent the potential damage,” said Arvind Patil, a farmer leader.

The Congress, which lost its bastion to BJP in 2004, is struggling to regain it by fielding different candidates every time, but without success. It has now chosen a young woman, who is well-educated and hails from a family of a seasoned politician.

Thirty-year-old Samyukta Patil is the daughter of Sugar, Textile and APMC Minister Shivanand Patil, who represents Basavana Bagewadi constituency in neighbouring Vijayapura district. Samyukta is a law graduate and a practicing lawyer.

Samyukta is being helped in her campaign by the Congress MLAs in the constituency. She has been reaching out to people, well before the Lok Sabha elections were announced, pointing to the several development works that have been halted since the last two decades and promising them to complete the works if elected to Parliament.

She is also highlighting the “failures” of BJP governments in the state and the Centre in providing employment and other basic facilities.

Contrary to this, BJP nominee P C Gaddigoudar who is known as a ‘gentleman politician’, relies on the popularity of PM Modi and the NDA government’s initiatives on India’s security and development.

Ganigas hold key

He is also relying on the solid support of Ganiga community to which he belongs and which constitutes a considerable chunk of electors. Ganigas in the region are known to solidly support their community’s candidate without considering the party. Gaddigoudar lists out the centrally-sponsored projects that have been implemented in the constituency but his detractors claim that they are all routine works.

The constituency has 18.06 lakh voters with 2.45 lakh Kurubas, 2.22 lakh Panchamsalis, 1.11 lakh Ganigas, 1.60 lakh Muslims, 57,000 Nekars, 1.64 lakh SCs and 1.18 lakh Valmikis among others.

Veena Kashappanavar, who was miffed after being denied the Congress ticket to contest the ensuing Lok Sabha election from Bagalkot, has kept away from the constituency.

Party senior leaders were roped in to douse the rebellion. Veena and her husband Vijayanand, an MLA from Hungund, have clarified that they are working in unison to ensure Samyukta’s victory.

The Congress is experimenting with a greenhorn to halt BJP juggernaut in Bagalkot On the other hand, Gaddigoudar, riding on Modi wave, and his ‘clean’ image, looks to extend his dream run.

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Published 29 April 2024, 21:13 IST

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