M.B. Girish

BIDAR: Bidar is the northernmost district of the State, with Andhra Pradesh on its eastern border and Maharashtra on its northern and western borders. Bidar was part of Hyderabad State till 1956.

The delimitation exercise has changed the contours of the Assembly segments, but their number remains at six, of which one is reserved. The district goes to the polls on May 22 in the third phase of the Assembly elections.

A new constituency, Bidar South, has been created, while Hulsoor, which was a reserved constituency, has been done away with. Bidar, Humnabad, Bhalki, Aurad and Basavakalyan are the other constituencies. Aurad is now a reserved constituency for the Scheduled Castes.

11 lakh voters

The district has 10,92,342 voters: 5,65,369 male and 5,26,973 female.

Janata Dal (Secular) State president of N. Merajuddin Patel is contesting from Humnabad. In the 1994 Assembly elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chalked up its first win in south India from the Bidar Assembly seat.

The influence of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) has subsided in Aurad, but Bhalki and Basavakalyan are predominantly Maratha-speaking areas and will play a decisive role in the fortunes of the party. Lingayats and minorities will also play a key role in the various constituencies.

Bidar is predominantly agricultural and is one of the major sugarcane- and sugar-producing districts in the State.