Karnataka: Two assembly & Belagavi LS bypolls will be held on April 17 | Bengaluru News – Times of India
BENGALURU: The much-awaited bypolls to Maski and Basavakalyan assembly seats and Belagavi parliamentary constituency will be held on April 17, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday. Counting and results are expected on May 2, alongside the outcomes of elections in four states and one UT where polls are being held in phases.
Bypolls in Belagavi and Basavakalyan were necessitated following the death of sitting members Suresh Angadi and B Narayan Rao respectively due to Covid-19, Maski is going to bypolls as Pratap Gouda Patil, who won the seat in 2018, was disqualified due to his defection to BJP from Congress.
The EC, however, did not announce the bypoll date for Sindagi seat in Vijayapura, which fell vacant on the death of JD(S) MLA MC Managuli two months ago.
While the results of the bypolls will have no bearing on the government, which has a comfortable majority, a big win will give all stakeholders confidence ahead of taluk and ZP elections.
Byelections to see heated campaigns
The campaigning, however, is likely to be intense in the wake of the sex CD scandal allegedly involving former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, and disgruntlement within BJP. Indications are already emerging from the state legislature, which is in session, as BJP and Congress have been at loggerheads, issue for issue. Chief minister BS Yediyurappa has vowed to hand out a humiliating defeat to Congress in response to opposition leader Siddaramaiah’s attack on his government.
Congress has not won the Belagavi seat in the last four Lok Sabha elections since 2004 after Angadi, who was MoS for railways in the Modi government, entered the fray. While Congress is sensing an opportunity this time round, BJP is weighing options to choose a strong candidate who can replace the late Union minister.
BJP has been doing the groundwork for the polls for the past 2-3 months while maintaining suspense on its possible candidates for Belagavi and Basavakalyan. It is being said that the party has decided to field a new face from Belagavi even though Angadi’s family is seeking a ticket for his daughter. Names of two doctors are also doing the rounds. Congress is said to be keen on fielding its state working president Satish Jarkiholi but that plan has reportedly been changed since the CD scandal emerged.
In Maski, BJP will field Pratapgouda Patil, one of the 17 MLAs who resigned from the assembly, helping BJP to form the government. Congress is expected to field Basanagouda Turvihal, who, as a BJP candidate, was defeated by Patil by a very thin margin.
In Basavakalyan, while Congress is expected to field a family member of Narayanrao to cash in on sympathy votes, BJP is yet to decide on its candidate.