Much water has flown under the bridge since the police firing during a violent protest over fertilizer issue here in 2008 in which two farmers were killed.
The incident took place when B.S. Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister, but the report of the inquiry committee headed by K. Jagannath Shetty is yet to be made public.
Haveri district was in news when farmers protested against the short supply of BT cotton seeds from a private company. The same farmers are demanding more compensation for the loss they incurred after sowing “spurious seeds” sold by the same company, Mahyco. They recently ransacked the office of the company near Ranebennur saying that the compensation of Rs. 6,000 an acre fixed by the government is inadequate. The issue of adequate compensation for the loss incurred by cotton growers is sure to be raised in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
The Haveri Lok Sabha constituency has eight Assembly segments — Haveri (reserved for SC), Ranebennur, Byadgi, Hirekerur, Hangal, Gadag, Ron and Shirahatti (reserved for SC) — spread across Haveri and Gadag districts, which were carved out of Dharwad district in 1997.
There is evidence of prehistoric civilisation in the basins of the Tungabhadra and the Varada in Haveri district. Gadag district, which has temples of the Kalyani Chalukya period, was the ‘karmabhoomi’ of rulers who propagated Jainism. Kappatagudda, a treasure trove of medicinal plants, in the district has a huge potential for harnessing wind power. Gadag district also has the credit of giving birth to cooperative movement more than a century ago. Both the districts, however, have similar problems — frequent spells of drought and floods, dwindling agricultural revenues, delayed irrigation projects and lack of infrastructure. People in both the districts have strongly opposed government attempts to acquire large tracts of fertile land from farmers for industries.
Haveri has a prominent place in the political history of the State. It was in Haveri that Mr. Yeddyurappa formally took over the reins of the Karnataka Janata Paksha after severing his ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2012. Mr. Yeddyurappa, however, is now back in the BJP.
The delimitation exercise in 2008 not only gave the present name to the constituency (earlier it was called Dharwad South Lok Sabha constituency) but also drastically altered its demography. It lost Shiggaon and Kundagol Assembly segments and gained Gadag, Ron and Shirahatti segments.
Non-Muslim candidates have won from the constituency only five times in the last 15 Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress has been fielding Muslim candidates in the constituency, and party leader F.S. Mohsin, who won five times in a row, became a Union Minister of State.
Considered a Congress bastion, the constituency favoured candidates of other parties only thrice. While the Lok Shakti wrested the seat from the Congress in 1998, the BJP won the seat in 2004 and retained it in 2009.
Incidentally, Manjunath Kunnur from Shiggaon, who won on BJP ticket in the 2004 election, switched over to the Congress and lost in the 2009 election in the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency.
This time while the BJP has fielded Shivakumar Udasi, incumbent MP and son the former Minister C.M. Udasi, the Congress is yet to choose between Saleem Ahmed, who lost the previous election, and D.R. Patil, former Gadag MLA. And, the Janata Dal (Secular) seems to waiting for the Congress to decide its candidate.