Staff Correspondent

Eight candidates are contesting from North-East Graduates constituency

BJP leader M.R. Tanga represented the constituency from 1988The largest number of voters is in GulbargaHarapanahalli taluk is the only part of Davangere district that is part of the constituency

Bidar: Campaigning for the election from the North-East Graduates constituency to the Legislative Council has intensified with less than a fortnight to go for polling. The election is on June 17 and counting on June 19.

All the major parties have fielded candidates in the poll. The BJP and Janata Dal (S), members of the ruling coalition, have fielded separate candidates.

The constituency is spread across the districts of Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur and Koppal in Hyderabad Karnataka, Bellary and the taluk of Harapanahalli in Davangere district. Senior BJP leader M.R. Tanga represented it from 1988. Over 54,360 graduates from the six districts have enrolled as voters. Of these, 42,328 are men and 12,032 are women. The largest number of voters (21,320) is in Gulbarga. Bellary has 9,950 voters, Raichur 8,245 voters, Bidar 8,019 voters and Koppal 5,668 voters. Harapanahalli taluk, the only part of Davangere district that is part of the constituency, has 1,158 voters.

There are eight candidates: Koralli Suryakant of the Congress, Sangameshwar of the JD(S), Manohar Maski of the BJP, Shivraj Patil of the JD(U), Ranganagowda Patil of the AIPJD and Gulam Rabbani, Sudhakar Tippanna and Hattarki Yashwantrao, all independents. Mr. Maski is from Raichur and the others are from Gulbarga district.

First-timers

Among the candidates, except for Prof. Sangameshwar of the JD(S), all are first-timers. Prof. Sangameshwar unsuccessfully contested the seat thrice in the past as a candidate of the Congress and the Janata Parivar. Party sources said that his election was a matter of prestige for the JD(S), which has four Ministers and 11 MLAs from the region.

Congress candidate Suryakanth Koralli is said to be close to the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh. "We have a strong presence in all taluks," Mr. Koralli said.

The BJP's Manohar Maski said his party would retain the seat it had been holding for three terms now.

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