KJP’s presence, anti-incumbency factor are an advantage for it

The Congress, which lost the Koppal seat in the 2008 Assembly elections and the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, seems to be making a comeback in the district.

Once a Congress bastion, the party managed to secure only one seat out of the five in the district during the 2008 elections. It was the influence of the Reddy brothers from the neighbouring Bellary district that played a key role in routing the Congress from this constituency and helped the Bharatiya Janata Party gain a foothold there.

With the Reddy brothers absent from the political scenario, infighting in the BJP and the emergence of the Karnataka Janata Paksha and the BSR Congress, things have never looked better for the Congress, which is determined to regain its clout in Koppal. The party’s strength in the district has only been bolstered by the presence of Shivaraj Thangadagi, a Congress rebel who successfully contested the 2008 elections from the Kanakagiri constituency. Mr. Thangadagi has received the Congress ticket to appear for re-election from the same constituency.

In the 2008 Assembly elections, the BJP won two seats, Yelburga and Gangavati. They secured the Koppal seat in the byelections held later. Thanks to the anti-incumbency factor and the KJP’s presence, they have their back against the wall in all five Assembly constituencies in the district.

The Congress also came out much ahead of its rivals in the recent urban local body polls, securing 36 of the 96 seats in the district. The BJP and JD(S) won 25 seats each, while the BSR Congress won 10 and the KJP, six. Now, all five Assembly constituencies seem poised to witness multi-cornered contests; however, the Congress has a presence in all of them, while the same cannot be said for the BJP, KJP, JD(S) or the BSR Congress.

The Koppal segment will likely see a straightforward fight between Karaddi Sanganna, BJP MLA, and zilla panchayat president Raghavendra Itnal of the Congress, who belongs to the Kuruba community which has a sizeable population in the constituency.

In Kanakagiri, Shivaraj Thangadagi, Independent MLA now contesting on the Congress ticket, will face Mukund Rao Bhavanimutt of the BSR Congress. Other candidates in the constituency are Basavaraj Dadesugur, fielded by the KJP, and Ramu Nayak of the BJP.

The former Minister Iqbal Ansari of the JD(S) appears to have the upper hand in the Gangavati constituency. He will face Paranna Munavalli, BJP MLA, the former Minister Basavaraj Patil Anwari of the KJP and H.R. Srinath from the Congress.

In Kushtagi, the Congress has fielded Amaregowda Bayyapur, the former Minister and MLA, who will face Doddana Gowda from the BJP.

The Congress, despite having the upper hand in Yelburga, is sure to see a multi-cornered contest. It has fielded the former Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy. His rivals are: Halappa Achar from the BJP and Naveen Gulagannavar, from the BSR Congress.

Previously, the entire district was a Congress stronghold, but the previous elections allowed the JD(S) and the BJP to gain footholds there, evidenced by the Congress’s performance in the 2008 Assembly elections. However, the anti-incumbency factor seems to have taken hold of the constituency, making it difficult for the current MLAs to retain their seats, which is sure to work to the Congress’s advantage.

  • Influence of Reddy brothers was key to

    Congress’ downfall in Koppal during 2008 polls

  • Multi-cornered contest on the cards in Yelburga