It’s Satish vs Mangala in Belagavi Lok Sabha bypoll | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Congress on Friday declared Satish Jarkiholi as its candidate for the Belagavi Lok Sabha bypoll, a move that was widely expected. He will square off against BJP’s Mangala Angadi, the wife of late Union minister Suresh Angadi, whose death necessitated the April 17 contest.
Satish, the brother of BJP MLA and former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, is expected to face a tough challenge as the Belagavi constituency, where Lingayats are the largest voter group, is a BJP stronghold.
Congress hopes to capitalise on the disgruntlement in some sections of BJP, while the saffron camp is banking on the Angadi family’s long association with the region. Suresh Angadi represented the segment for four consecutive terms, starting 2004, before dying of Covid-19 last year.
Satish, a state Congress working president, is currently the Yamkanmardi MLA. He will have to vacate the assembly seat if he becomes an MP. He is expected to file his nomination papers on Monday (March 29).
Hundreds of his supporters held a protest on Friday, urging him to reject the Congress ticket and continue serving as the Yamkanmardi legislator. They believe that the Lok Sabha bypoll is a risky bet.
Satish, who was a minister in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, pacified them, saying his chances were good. “Congress will win the bypoll and I will use effective strategies to ensure BJP’s defeat,” he said. He added that the sex CD controversy allegedly involving Ramesh would have no bearing on the election. The Jarkiholi clan is among the most influential political families in Belagavi district.
Some Congress functionaries believe Satish, who belongs to the Valmiki community, may exit the race at the last minute and make way for a Lingayat party member. “He knows it won’t be easy for him to win in the Lingayatdominated segment, where BJP has enjoyed popularity for the past two decades,” said a functionary.
BJP had earlier indicated that it won’t field party functionaries’ family members. It decided to nominate Mangala in Belagavi after Congress hinted at Satish’s candidacy. It’s not clear if JD(S) will field a candidate.
Apart from the Belagavi contest, two assembly bypolls will be held on April 17. In Basavakalyan, the Congress nominee is Mallamma, the wife of legislator B Narayan Rao who died of Covid-19 last year, while BJP and JD(S) have fielded Sharanu Salagar and Syed Yasrab Ali Quadri, respectively. Syed Yasrab was earlier with Congress.
In Maski, Basanagouda Turvihal, who recently joined Congress, will take on Pratapagouda Patil, who left Congress to join BJP. The last dates for filing and withdrawing nominations are March 30 and April 3, respectively.

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Sagar Biswas

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