Marathi voters make or mar poll prospects in Belagavi South constituency

Marathi voters make or mar poll prospects in Belagavi South constituency

Changdev aka Mahesh Kugaji

Lack of employment opportunities, basic infrastructure and skilled and technically qualified youth forced to move to metros for career opportunities. This is the state of affairs in Belagavi South constituency, comprising of old city areas, semi-urban areas surrounding the city and some villages on the outskirts.

Areas coming under the constituency, which was carved out post-delimitation in 2008, were part of the erstwhile Uchgaon and Belagavi Assembly constituencies. Employment opportunities for the youth and infrastructure are the key demands here. 

Sambhaji Patil had got elected with the support of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) in the 2013 election. This time, he has opted for the Belagavi North seat.

He had defeated then sitting MLA Abhay Patil of BJP. Congress candidate Anil Potdar was a distant third.

Abhay is seeking re-election on the strengths of his works as MLA from 2008-2013. Developmental works worth Rs 363 crore, including those with special grants, were undertaken during his tenure, he claims. The former legislator says people fondly recall his contributions between 2008 and 2013.

Belagavi South has 2,30,416 voters, of which 1,16,360 are male, 1,13,993 female and 63 others. The Maratha community comprises about 70,000 voters and other Marathi-speaking communities account for 30,000 voters. The Devang community has 45,000 voters.

The MES central unit, claiming itself to be the official faction, has fielded Prakash Margale as its candidate, while the city unit, which claims it has the support of the people, has fielded former mayor Kiran Sayanak.

Margale said MES supporters were with him and would back him for the cause of the border dispute pending in the Supreme Court.

The Congress has fielded M D Laxminarayan, with eye of on the votes of the Devang community, to which he belongs.

However, being as outsider, he is finding it difficult to connect with the people. He said development works of the Siddaramaiah government would stand him in good stead.

The JD(S) has fielded Mahesh alias Changdev Kugaji, also from the Maratha community. There are a total of 13 candidates in the fray.


  • Basic infrastructure
  • Employment problems
  • Business and trades yet to develop