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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Boost to Cong Prez Kharge as son-in-law wins on home turf of Gulbarga

Congress wanted to wrest Gulbarga (Kalaburagi) back at any cost, as failure in regaining the lost bastion of its chief would have caused it a huge embarrassment.
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 13:46 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 13:46 IST

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Kalaburagi: Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge received a boost on Tuesday as his son-in-law Radhakrishna Doddamani won on his home turf of Gulbarga by defeating BJP MP Umesh Jadhav by 27,205 votes.

Doddamani secured 6,52,321 votes and Jadhav 6,25,116.

Jadhav, a medical surgeon, had defeated Kharge in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections -- the Congress stalwart's first ever electoral loss on his home turf.

Congress wanted to wrest Gulbarga (Kalaburagi) back at any cost, as failure in regaining the lost bastion of its chief would have caused it a huge embarrassment.

The BJP had fought to retain this high profile SC reserved segment to assert itself in this region, which was for long the grand old party's citadel.

The 81-year-old Kharge had opted out of the electoral race, citing his age along with the role of managing the party nationally and coordinating with the INDIA bloc. The party had fielded Doddamani, a businessman who also manages educational institutions.

Kharge, who is Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, had won from Gulbarga segment twice (2009, 2014), but lost the 2019 polls to Jadhav by 95,452 votes.

Popularly known as 'Solillada Saradara', (a leader without defeat), for Kharge, who was nine time MLA, that was the first electoral loss in his political life spanning several decades.

Jadhav had quit as Congress MLA and joined the BJP to contest 2019 Lok Sabha election from Gulbarga.

Kharge had extensively campaigned for Doddamani.

Seeking to strike an emotional chord with the people of his home constituency Gulbarga, Kharge during a public meeting here last month said: "If you miss your vote this time (if you don't vote for the Congress candidate), I will think that I don’t have any place here for me and I could not win your heart."

"Whether you vote for us (Congress) or not, but at least come to my funeral if you think that I have worked for Kalaburagi," he had remarked.

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Published 04 June 2024, 13:46 IST

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