Congress Fields Kharge's Son-in-Law in Key Karnataka Seat

Congress nominates Radhakrishna Doddamani, son-in-law of AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, to contest against BJP's Umesh Jadhav in Gulbarga, Karnataka. The election is seen as a high-stakes battle between Kharge and the BJP, with implications for national politics.

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Congress Fields Kharge's Son-in-Law in Key Karnataka Seat

Congress Fields Kharge's Son-in-Law in Key Karnataka Seat

The Gulbarga constituency in Karnataka's Kalaburagi region is gearing up for a pivotal election battle since the Congress party has nominated Radhakrishna Doddamani, son-in-law of All India Congress Committee (AICC). President Mallikarjun Kharge, to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) incumbent MP Umesh Jadhav. The election is being viewed as a high-stakes contest between Kharge and the BJP, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself kicking off his Karnataka campaign from Kalaburagi, underscoring the significance of this north Karnataka seat.

Why this matters: The outcome of this election will not only impact the political scenario of Karnataka but also have implications for the national politics, as it may influence the BJP's and Congress's strategies for the upcoming elections. A win for the Congress could boost the party's morale and challenge the BJP's dominance in the region. A win for the Congress could boost the party's morale and challenge the BJP's dominance in the region.

Historically, Kalaburagi has been a Congress bastion, with the party emerging victorious in 14 out of 17 elections from this district since 1951. However, the 2019 Lok Sabha election saw a major upset as Umesh Jadhav of the BJP defeated Mallikarjun Kharge. With Kharge not contesting from his home turf this time, the Congress has entrusted his son-in-law, Radhakrishna Doddamani, with the task of reclaiming the seat. Doddamani, a 60-year-old businessman and long-time Congress worker, exuded confidence in his prospects, stating, "I am one hundred per cent confident that I will win this seat back and I am all set to carry forward the legacy of Mallikarjun Kharge."

The BJP, meanwhile, is relying on the support of the Lingayat community, which accounts for around 5 lakh voters in the constituency, and the achievements of the Modi government. The party has been targeting Mallikarjun Kharge over the issue of dynastic politics, but Karnataka Congress leader Priyank Kharge dismissed the criticism, saying, "It is funny, but their party leaders should put questions about dynastic politics to their senior leader BS Yediyurappa. The BJP should get a DNA testing done."

Priyank Kharge, Mallikarjun Kharge's son and a cabinet minister in the Karnataka government, is actively campaigning for his brother-in-law in Kalaburagi. He attributed the region's historical backwardness and lack of development to the absence of progressive kingdoms in the past. Despite the BJP's efforts to make inroads, Priyank Kharge remains confident of the Congress party's prospects, asserting, "PM Modi, Amit Shah, and other BJP leaders dislike Mallikarjun Kharge, so all their energy is focused here. This time not just Kalaburagi but Congress will win all 28 seats."

The Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency, which comprises eight assembly segments, boasts a diverse population of over 20 lakh voters, including Kolis (Kabbaligas), Lingayats, Muslims (20%), and other religious communities (10%). The constituency also showcases a unique blend of traditional and modern influences, with a rural-urban divide: 65% of the population resides in rural areas, while 35% lives in urban centers. The campaign intensifies, both the Congress and BJP are leaving no stone unturned to secure victory in this crucial electoral contest.

The outcome of the Gulbarga Lok Sabha election will not only determine the representative of Kalaburagi in the Parliament but also have far-reaching implications for the political scenario of Karnataka and the nation as a whole. With Radhakrishna Doddamani carrying the legacy of Mallikarjun Kharge and the Congress party's historical dominance in the region, and Umesh Jadhav banking on the support of the Lingayat community and the BJP's national appeal, the stage is set for a closely contested battle.

Key Takeaways

  • Karnataka's Gulbarga constituency is set for a crucial election battle between Congress and BJP.
  • Congress has nominated Radhakrishna Doddamani, son-in-law of AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, to take on BJP's Umesh Jadhav.
  • The outcome will impact Karnataka's political scenario and have national implications.
  • Kalaburagi has historically been a Congress bastion, but BJP won in 2019.
  • The election is seen as a high-stakes contest between Kharge and the BJP.