To counter the political dominance of two Jarkiholi brothers of the ruling BJP in Belagavi district, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) on Saturday recommended the candidature of its working president Satish Jarkiholi for the byelections to the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency.
The State Congress leaders, including KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, senior members R.V. Deshpande, S.R. Patil, and Dinesh Gundu Rao decided to propose the name of Mr. Satish to the party high command. The high command is expected to clear the candidature in the next few days.
Mr. Satish, currently member of the Legislative Assembly, was elected from Yemakanmardi reserve constituency (ST) in Belagavi district. He served as the Minister in the coalition government led by H.D. Kumaraswamy and the previous Congress government led by Siddaramaiah.
His brothers Ramesh Jarkiholi and Balachandra Jarkiholi are BJP MLAs. Mr. Ramesh is currently in the news for his alleged involvement in a sex-for-job scandal and the SIT is investigating the case.
Mr. Satish said the party has recommended two more names along with his. Prakash Hukkeri’s, former MP, name was also recommended to the party high command. Mr. Hukkeri did not attended Saturday’s meeting.
Mr. Satish said he would meet the high command and express his views on contesting the polls. He would contest if the party fields him in Belagavi constituency, he said.
Speaking to mediapersons, Mr. Shivakumar said the party has decided against conducting more public meetings in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only two public meetings each would be conducted in Maski and Basavakalyana constituency.
Mallamma, the party’s candidate in Maski, will file nomination on March 29 and Basanagouda Turvihal will file nomination in Basavakalyana constituency on March 30. All top leaders of the party would be present in both constituencies on the day of filing papers, Mr. Shivakumar said.
KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre said leaders have been identified to supervise elections in all three constituencies which would go to polls on April 17.