BJP Opts For Kageri Over Hegde in Uttara Kannada


The saffron party has chosen moderate leader Kageri over Hindutva firebrand Hegde for Uttara Kannada Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka…reports Asian Lite News

The BJP has chosen soft-spoken, moderate leader Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri instead of Hindutva firebrand and six-term MP, Anantkumar Hegde for the Uttara Kannada Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka.

Kageri, a senior BJP leader, served as a minister and Speaker in the Karnataka Assembly and this is the first time that he is facing a Lok Sabha election.

On the other hand, Hegde has represented the Uttara Kannada Lok Sabha seat in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 general elections as a BJP candidate.

Though Hegde made all attempts to get the ticket, the BJP opted for Kageri and he will face former Congress MLA, Dr. Anjali Nimbalkar.

Hegde had gone on a whirlwind tour of the constituency and kicked up a storm by suggesting that the BJP would amend the Indian Constitution once it secured two-third majority in the Lok Sabha. The party had distanced itself from the statement and dubbed it as a personal remark by the leader.

Hegde also faced opposition from within the BJP as he remained unavailable for party workers and was suffering from a protracted illness.

On the other hand, Kageri is a non-controversial figure with a clean image and hence was preferred over him by the BJP.

Plus, Kageri was a six-time MLA till he lost the Assembly election in 2023 from the Sirsi seat against Congress candidate Bhimanna T Naik.

The Uttara Kannada Lok Sabha seat comprises Khanapur, Kittur, Haliyal, Karwar, Kumta, Bhatkal, Sirsi and Yellapur Assembly seats.

The Congress party had won five seats and the BJP emerged victorious in three seats in the 2023 Assembly polls.

Among the three MLAs, Sirsi BJP MLA, Shivaram Hebbar has distanced himself from party affairs and sources close to him say that he is all set to join the Congress party and he remained absent during the Rajya Sabha election.

A political heavyweight from the Congress party, RV Deshpande represents the Haliyal Assembly seat. The Congress has denied him a ministerial berth and he is miffed with the development.

The Congress is pinning its hopes on Dr. Anjali Nimbalkar, one of the most highly-educated female politicians. She is a doctor and an advocate. Her husband, Hemanth Nimbalkar is a senior IPS officer.

Dr. Anjali Nimbalkar represented Khanapur Assembly constituency in Belagavi District. She lost the seat to the BJP candidate Vithal Somanna Halgekar in 2023.

Hindutva poster boy Hegde had registered a landslide victory with a margin of 4.79 lakh votes in the Uttara Kannada seat in the 2019 general election.

The constituency is considered as the bastion of the BJP and the party is confident of registering a victory again with Kageri.

The Congress party is banking on guarantees and an educated woman candidate.

Jagadish Shettar

Victory Won’t Be Difficult in Belagavi: Shettar

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP Belagavi candidate, Jagadish Shettar, said on Monday that a victory won’t be difficult for the BJP in the Belagavi constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“The victory won’t be difficult for us. When the Late MP Suresh Angadi was the district president and I was the Leader of the Opposition, we had taken up the party’s organisational work in the constituency,” Shettar told media persons.

He said that the experience of working as the district in-charge minister for two times in Belagavi will also come in handy during the election.

Shettar said that the sitting MP, his relative Mangala Angadi, has promised to work for him in the election as well.

“The caste calculations won’t work in this election. Though I hail from Hubballi, I have grown as a state-level leader. If Hubballi is my ‘Janma Bhoomi’, then Belagavi is my ‘Karma Bhoomi,” he said.

“I have a close relationship with the voters and people of the district. The youth are more in numbers and they will not be taken for granted. We will win the confidence of all sections and win in the election,” he said.

Speaking to ANI on Monday, the former Karnataka chief minister said, “I am in regular contact with all fellow party workers and the people in Belagavi. This place holds a special place in my heart. I am confident of repaying the faith that the party has vested in me. I am hopeful of being elected an MP from the Belagavi district.”

Weighing in on the perceived dispute between Marathas and Kannadigas, Shettar said there are no differences between the two communities.

“Here, in Karnataka, the Marathas and Kannadigas are like brothers. There is no difference between the two communities. They all are Indians,” he added.

The BJP on Sunday released its fifth list of 111 candidates for Lok Sabha elections. Former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who recently returned to the party from the Congress, was fielded from Belgaum while former state minister K Sudhakar will contest Chikballapur.

Shettar, who quit the BJP and switched over to the Congress after being denied a ticket to contest last year’s assembly elections, returned to his old party in January.

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