BJP star campaigners are visiting this remote assembly constituency, located at the western corner of the state, ie. Haliyal-Joida assembly constituency. The constituency is well known for the incumbent minister in the Congress government- Raghunath Vishwanath Rao Deshpande, more than any other reasons.
Respectfully called as 'Sahebru' (sir, boss), RV Deshpande's winning record in the history of assembly is unparalleled. Out of eight assembly elections, Deshpande has won seven times. His record can be compared with Congress stalwarts Mallikarjun Kharge, and late Dharam Singh.
In fact, Deshpande has always been on the rise in his political career spanning over three decades. A protege of former Karnataka CM Ramakrishna Hegde, Deshpande is also one of the richest politicians in the state. Deshpande joined the Congress after the breaking away of Janata Dal in 1999.
Deshpande a Gouda Saraswat Brahmin (GSB), he has been winning every election in a constituency numerically dominated by Maratha community.
Not only on Haliyal -Joida constituency, Deshpande has a firm grip over the North Canara (Karwar) district. He introduced his eldest son Prasad Deshpande as Congress candidate in 2014 general election against firebrand Hindu leader Anant Kumar Hegde, but in vain.
Deshpande was defeated only once, as result of his man Friday VD Hegde's rebellion in 2008. VD Hegade's son Sunil Hegde from Janata Dal (S) took on the senior politician and defeated him by a margin of 6000 votes. However, Sunil Hegde could not hold on to power after a term. Deshpande made a comeback and avenged the defeat in 2013 election.
The BJP hasn't won a single time in this constituency dominated by Maratha, Mulsim and Christian communities. The voters have always stood by RV Deshpande rather than political party. Also, the saffron party has failed to groom a prominent candidate though firebrand Hindu leader Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde hails from the district.
This time Sunil Hegde, who is contesting on BJP ticket wants to repeat history. According to sources, Sunil Hegde has requested the party high command to send star campaigners such as Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Smriti Irani for the high-voltage campaign.
Nitin Gadkari is holding a public meet in Haliyal on Monday, followed by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath rally on May 4 and Smriti Irani's rally on May 2 in Dandeli, 20 km from Haliyal. Only the poll results will show the impact of start campaigners.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|