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Karnataka elections: Results will decide the fate of top leaders

Bengaluru| Election results are important for the top leadership in Karnataka. They are in the fray for bigger roles once the results are declared. Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, among others, will have political careers. The victory of Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah is significant as he is a chief ministerial aspirant. BJP has fielded a strong candidate against him in the Varuna seat in the form of V Somanna. Siddaramaiah’s defeat will put him out of the race for chief ministership.

The stakes are running high for Siddaramaiah with exit polls predicting the Congress to emerge as the single largest party. The results will also have a direct impact on the political career of Housing Minister V. Somanna. Somanna has been promised the post of Deputy Chief Minister by the party’s high command if he defeats Siddaramaiah. Somanna is contesting from the High Voltage Varuna seat in Mysore and Chamarajanagar seat in neighboring Chamarajanagara.

84.74 percent of voting has been done in Varuna. Siddaramaiah has declared that he will win by 30,000 votes, while Somanna has claimed that he will win comfortably.

All eyes are also on the Hubli-Dharwad Central seat, from where former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is contesting from the Congress. Enraged by his defection at a crucial juncture, the BJP threw all its might to defeat him in his own constituency. Shettar, a six-time MLA, is up against a newcomer Mahesh Tenginakayi, once considered his right-hand man.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had held several meetings in Hubli.

Laxman Savadi, who switched from BJP to Congress, is contesting from Athani seat in Belagavi district and the results will have a direct bearing on his future political career in Congress. Both leaders have claimed that they had to leave the Saffron party due to humiliation by the BJP leadership.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is seeking re-election from the Shiggaon seat in Haveri district and his victory is also important for his future career in the BJP. Former BJP minister C.P. Yogeshwar is pitted against former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. Kumaraswamy has ‘vowed’ to end the political career of Yogeshwar, who played an active role in ‘Operation Kamal’ in 2019 and ensured the downfall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

Senior BJP leader S. Suresh Kumar is facing a tough fight from Congress candidate Puttanna in the Rajajinagar seat of Bengaluru. BJP Bengaluru’s Chamarajpet seat Senior Congress leader B.Z. Jamir Ahmed Khan, whose roots are very deep. The saffron party has fielded former Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao against him.

This election is a question of survival for Janardhana Reddy, who formed the Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha (KRPP) and has challenged the BJP. He is contesting from the Gangavathi seat in the Raichur district and his wife Aruna Lakshmi is contesting against her brother-in-law Somasekhara Reddy in the Ballari district. Reddy has already declared his support to the Congress. The survival of his party depends on his victory.

The results of the Puttur constituency in Dakshina Kannada district are also eagerly awaited. The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has fielded BJP worker Praveen Kumar Netre murder accused Shafi Belare as its candidate. He is contesting from jail.

Vinay Kulkarni, a former Congress minister and close aide of Siddaramaiah, is contesting from the Dharwad seat. Kulkarni, an accused in the murder case of BJP worker Yogesh Gowda, is facing a court ban from entering his constituency.

The contest and heated exchange of words between Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge and BJP candidate Manikant Rathod has raised the ante in the Chittapura constituency of Kalburgi district.

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