Vijaykumar Patil

Belgaum: The changes made in the reservation of constituencies in the delimitation process have provided an opportunity for new faces to contest in constituencies that have been newly reserved or hitherto reserved segments that now come under the general category.

Some of the issues that are important to the district are construction of the Vikas Soudha, a commitment made by the Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party government; prices of sugarcane, other agricultural crops and essential commodities; revival of sick or defunct sugar factories; distribution of ration cards; drinking water; and better roads and housing.

In constituencies bordering Maharashtra, such as Nippani, Belgaum North, Belgaum South, Belgaum Rural and Khanapur, the “border dispute” will overshadow developmental issues, as the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi is trying its best to regain its strength.

After delimitation Sankeshwar constituency has been replaced by Yamkanmardi, which is reserved for the Scheduled Tribes. Gokak, which was reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, is now under the general category. However, this constituency is the pocket borough of the Jarkiholi family.

18 segments

Though the number of Assembly segments remains at 18, changes have been made to the geographic profiles of Belgaum City, Bagewadi and Uchagaon constituencies within Belgaum taluk, which have been renamed Belgaum North, Belgaum South and Belgaum Rural. Parasgad constituency is now called Soundatti-Yellamma.

Another new constituency is Kudachi, while areas of Sadalga have been merged with the neighbouring segment to create ‘Chikkodi-Sadalga’ constituency, which comes under the general category. Chikkodi was hitherto reserved for the Scheduled Castes. Raybag constituency continues to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes.