It’s vital to find a strong candidate to face BJP in 2023 Assembly election in Yadgir: Congress leader

Former Minister Dr. A.B. Maalakaraddy quit Congress after he lost 2018 general election against BJP’s Venkatareddy Mudnal in Yadgir.

Former Minister Dr. A.B. Maalakaraddy quit Congress after he lost 2018 general election against BJP’s Venkatareddy Mudnal in Yadgir. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Yadgir Assembly Constituency (General), which is a strong bastion for Congress party has been suffering from lack of leadership when its senior leader and former Minister Dr. A.B. Maalakaraddy quit the party after he lost 2018 general election against BJP’s Venkatareddy Mudnal, who won with a margin of 12,881 votes.

Now, Congress party has to find a strong candidate to face the ruling BJP MLA Venkatareddy Mudnal in the next Assembly election in 2023 to snatch the constituency back from BJP’s hand and it would be a tough task for the party if a suitable candidate was not chosen. 

A prominent Congressman Dr. Maalakaraddy has been elected five times to Assembly and once to Council and handled the Medical Education and Health portfolio under the then Chief Ministers M. Veerappa Moily and S.M. Krishna and led the party for four and half decades. But, after losing Assembly elections, he left congress and joined BJP citing he was “neglected” by the party. But, party leaders denied charges while countering him. Then, he joined hands with other BJP leaders to fight against his long-term political friend M. Mallikarjun Kharge in the previous Lok Sabha elections in Kalaburagi in 2019.

Even after his exit, the Congress did not opt to develop any other leader to field as candidate for next election. However, former MLC Channareddy Patil Tunnur has been claiming himself as the key aspirant. But, it is the party which has to make a decision on it.

“Party has lost its holding in the constituency after Dr. Maalakaraddy’s exit. None of the leaders from the party have emerged as his successor despite having sufficient time. Thus, the party has now to find a strong person who would be a suitable replacement to Dr. Maalakaraddy against BJP in the next election if it wants to take the constituency back in the hands of BJP,” a senior Congress leader under condition of anonymity, said.

On the other hand, sitting MLA from BJP Venkata Reddy Mudnal, probably, will be the candidate if the high command doesn’t want to replace him with anyone else. Earlier, Mr. Mudnal, who was identified as loyal to former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, contested election from Gurmitkal Assembly Constituency as an independent candidate in 2008 and from a Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) ticket in 2013. But, he lost both times. However, he proved strength by electing from Yadgir constituency in 2018.

“Since Dr. Maalakaraddy and Mr. Mudnal, who were the rivals in the 2018 election, are now in the same party and will work together in their individual capacity. They have prominent followers in the constituency and fight against Congress if anything does not happen and the same situation is continued till elections are announced. Thus, the Congress has now to find a strong candidate to fight against BJP,” another leader from the BJP said. 

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2022 6:13:31 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/its-vital-to-find-a-strong-candidate-to-face-bjp-in-2023-assembly-election-in-yadgir-congress-leader/article65470612.ece