Cong targets 40 seats from Kittur-Karnataka region, say party leaders
The Congress aims to regain dominance in the Kittur Karnataka region and has set a target of winning at least 40 seats in five districts, party leaders close to developments said on Sunday.
In Belagavi, the border district of the state, which was once considered a strong fort of the Congress, the party won all 18 seats in the 70s and 80s and has now aimed to win at least 12 seats. The party has drafted a plan under “Mission Dozen” to reach the 40 targets in the region, the leaders said.
Through the survey reports of its agencies and the teams of KPCC working president Satish Jarkiholi, Congress has selected its candidates to contest from Belagavi, leaders said.
Both the central and state intelligence departments of the Congresshave seconded the recommendations of the list of candidates by Jarkiholi’s team, saying, “The Congress will increase its capacity to nine from the current five seats if the candidates chosen by Jarkiholi’s team are fielded.”
Having faith in Jarkiholi, the high command has selected four candidates for the constituencies being represented by the BJP, leaders said.
It also announced tickets to all five of its legislators to contest from their respective constituencies, in its first list announced recently.
“To establish government on our capacity we have targeted to win 40 seats from all the four regions. We have set a target of 140 seats which could be won if we work smartly,” Jarkiholi, a member of the party’s think-tank, said.
Gokak Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was leading the Congress in the last general election, worked to win at least 15 seats. He had named “Target 15” to his task and won 8 seats.
However, with Athani MLA Mahesh Kumatolli and Kagwad MLA Shrimanth Patil, he defected to the BJP in 2018and won, which reduced the strength of the Congress to five.
His younger brother, Satish Jarkiholi, is now leading Congress in the district. According to the above-cited leaders, he has given his list of candidates and assured the high command that he would win at least 12 seats if the recommended candidates are fielded.
The report of both the intelligence departments stated that Congress would snatch Ramdurg, Savadatti, Kittur and Kagwad constituencies from the BJP if the candidates that Satish Jarkiholi has selected are fielded, sources said.
Satish Jarkiholi said the party would win the Ramdurg constituency if fielded former MLA Ashok Pattan, Dr Vishwas Vaidya from Savadatti, Babasaheb Patil from Kittur and former MLA Kaka alias Bharamagouda Patil from Kagwad constituency. The number will reach nine from five if things go as calculated.
Congress is eyeing the Athani constituency, which depends on the candidate BJP fields. “It will be easy for us if BJP fields any other candidate than Laxman Savadi. The party has defeated Savadi in the last general election,” the leaders said.
Savadi, who is from Athani taluk, has a stronghold on the constituency. Savadi, despite losing to Congress candidate Mahesh Kumatolli, was made the deputy chief minister in the BS Yeddyurappa-led government. Due to not having good political terms with Ramesh Jarkiholi, Savadi is trying to woo the party leadership to contest from the constituency, people close to developments said.
However, Ramesh Jarkiholi has opposed his candidature, saying he, too, would not contest the election if MLA Mahesh Kumatolli is not fielded from the constituency.
Talking to reporters in Bagalkot recently, Ramesh Jarkiholi, representing Gokak for the sixth consecutive term since 1999, said, “I too will not contest from my Gokak constituency if Kumatolli was denied the ticket. I’ll retire from politics if my demand was sidelined.”
According to the leaders, the list of candidates that Satish Jarkiholi submitted includes, Feroz Saith from Belagavi north, Prabhavati Chavadi/Ramesh Goral from Belagavi south, Lakshmi Hebbalkar from Belagavi rural, Dr Anjali Nimbalkar from Khanapur, Satish Jarkiholi from Yamakanamaradi, Mahantesh Koujalagi from Bailhongal, Babasaheb Patil from Kittur, Dr Vishwas Vaidya/Ajay Chopra from Savadatti, Ashok Pattan from Ramdurg, Kakasaheb Patil/Veerkumar Patil from Nippani.
Mahaveer Mohite from Raibag, Mahendra Tamannavar from Kudachi, A B Patil/Vinay Patil from Hukkeri, Bhimappa Gadad from Arabhavi, Chandrasekhar Konnur/Dr Mahadev Kadadi/Ashok Pujari from Gokak, Dhareppa Takkannavar/S K Butale from Athani and former MLA Raju alias Bharamagouda Kage from Kagwad constituency.