Belagavi: The electorate mandate of Belagavi district came as a surprise not just to the candidates but also to the election analysts. In a day full of twists, many political heavyweights lost their seats whereas others scraped through with a very slender margin of votes. Party-wise, the BJP lapped up 10 seats while Congress managed to win only 8 seats. Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES), which had won two seats here in 2013, was wiped out from the district as it failed to win any seat this time around.
Notably, Chief Whip of Karnataka government and two time MLA (2008 and 2013) Ashok Pattan lost to BJP's Mahadevappa Yadawad. Former minister and sitting Congress MLA D B Inamdar also met with a similar fate losing to BJP's Mahantesh Dodagaoudar. There was surprise waiting for BJP bigwigs too. Incumbent MLA of BJP Bharamgouda Kage lost to Shrimant B Patil of Congress whereas BJP's four time MLA Laxman Savadi was defeated by Congress' fresh face Mahesh Kumatalli.
Electoral verdict did not favour Belagavi North MLA Feroz Saith of Congress and Belagavi Rural MLA Sanjay Patil of BJP either. Their dreams of winning third consecutive membership to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly stood shattered as they lost the battle. While Saith lost to BJP Candidate Anil Benake by a margin of more than 17,000 votes, Sanjay Patil lost to Laxmi Hebbalkar of Congress by a massive margin of 51,000 votes.
Including Laxmi Hebbalkar, three women won from the district. This is the first time that so many women won from the district. By winning Nippani seat Shashikala Jolle of BJP returned to the Assembly whereas Dr Anjali Nimbalkar entered the legislature for the first time by winning Khanapur.
Former minister Umesh Katti was victorious for the record breaking 8th time. Except for 2004 polls, he has remained undefeated since 1985. The proponent for separate statehood for North Karnataka region has contested from different parties in his long career including JNP, JD, JDU, JDS and Congress. Since 2008 he has been contesting as a BJP candidate.
The Jarkiholi brothers - Satish Jarkiholi and Ramesh Jarkiholi contesting as Congress candidates won the Yamkanmardi and Gokak constituency respectively. Another brother Balachandra Jarakiholi won from Arabhavi as a BJP candidate. Satish Jarkiholi had to sweat it out in Yamakanmardi as he won the seat with a small margin of 2000 votes.
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