The grand old party of Indian politics Congress was sent to Karnataka assembly 10 times since 1952. Strange enough, a panchayat town in Belgaum district hasn't elected a Congress candidate in its political history. People of Khanapur, 26 km from Belgaum, assembly constituency always preferred independent candidates over national party BJP and Congress.
Independents have won the seat 8 times out of the 13 elections held. Since its first assembly election 1957, Laxman Balaji Birje of Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti (MES) and the BJP's Pralhad Remani won in 1962 and 2008 respectively.
In 2008, BJP's Pralhad Remani won comfortably against Rafique Khatalsab Khanapuri of Congress. However, in the next assembly election, Remani lost against Independent candidate Arvind Chandrakant Patil.
Out of 13 elections, Congress was runner-up in seven elections. Here, independent candidates enjoy the support of Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti which is not a recognised political party in Karnataka.
This year, the Congress has fielded Dr. Anjali Hemant Nimbalkar (41) in Khanapur. BJP's Vittal Halagekar and Nasir Bagvan of JDS are in the fray. Besides, seven independent candidates are also contesting in the election.
Dr Anjali is the wife of IGP (economic offences) Hemant Nimbalkar. Hemant Nimbalkar had served as Superintendent of Police in Belgaum district.
|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|