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Karnataka elections: The ten constituencies to watch out for

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Karnataka goes to polls on May 12 and the battle is without a doubt a heated one. There are several constituencies which would witness a keenly contested battle, especially those where the three Chief Ministerial candidates, Siddaramaiah, B S Yeddyurappa and H D Kumaraswamy would be contesting from.

    Karnataka elections: The ten constituencies to watch out for

    Here, we list out some of the key constituencies which would be polling on May 12, the counting of which would be held on May 15.

    Chamundeshwari:

    The constituency is currently held by JD(S) MLA, G T Deve Gowda. This is the constituency that Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah would be contesting from. He has won the seat from here several times in the past, but shifted to Varuna owing to delimitation. Will the BJP and JD(S) come together to defeat Siddaramaiah here? While the CM sounds confident, he would also keep in mind that he had won this seat in 2006 on a Congress ticket by just 250 votes.

    Shikaripura:

    Out of the 8 elections that B S Yeddyurappa has contested from this constituency, he has lost just once. This has been his constituency since 1983. In the 2013 election, Yeddyurappa had won this seat by a margin of 24,000 votes on a KJP ticket. Now he is back with the BJP and poll pundits say that it would be hard for any candidate to shake him here.

    Ramanagaram:

    The chief ministerial candidate of the JD(S), H D Kumaraswamy holds this seat. In the 2013 elections, he had won comfortably by a margin of over 25,000 votes. This is a stronghold of the JD(S). Some reports suggest that Kumaraswamy may contest from the Channapatna seat as well.

    Varuna:

    Held by Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, this was a constituency carved out of Chamundeshwari due to delimitation. Siddaramaiah has won 7 out of the 7 elections he has contested from here. This would be an interesting constituency to watch out for since Siddaramaiah's son, Yathindra is likely to contest from here. The battle could get interesting as there are reports that suggest that Yeddyurappa's son, B Y Vijayendra may be pitched here against Yathindra.

    Ballari city:

    The mining capital will witness a keenly contested battle. This seat is held by Anil Lad of the Congress. The 2008 battle here was won by Gali Somashekara Reddy of the BJP.

    Bantwal:

    The battle in the coast would be an interesting one. The BJP would be looking to seize the initiative here. The Bantwal seat is currently held by B Ramanatha Rai of the Congress. He won the seat by a comfortable margin of 17,850 votes in 2013. This year he may find it tougher as the BJP is going all guns blazing here.

    Nanjangud:

    This constituency witnessed a high-profile battle in the by-election held in 2017. By-polls were necessitated following the resignation of Dalit leader, V Srinivasa Prasad from the Congress. He contested on a BJP ticket, but lost to Kalale Keshavamurthy of the Congress. The battle in this reserved constituency would an interesting watch.

    Hebbal:

    Hebbal held by Y Narayanaswamy of the BJP would be a high-stake battle. By-elections were held here in 2016 following the death of R Jagadeesh Kumar of the BJP. In the run up to the elections, the Congress witnessed some infighting as Siddaramaiah wanted to give a ticket to Independent MLA Byrathi Suresh. The ticket finally went to Abdul Rahman Sharief, grandson of Jaffer Sharief.

    Bidar:

    This constituency would witness an interesting fight. It was here that the demand for a separate religion for Lingayats took birth when members of the community converged in large numbers. The seat was won by Gurupadappa Nagmarpalli in 2013 on a KJP ticket. However his death in 2016 led to a by-election which was won by Rahim Khan of the Congress. It would be interesting to see who wins the battle this year with the Congress recommending a religious minority tag for the Lingayats.

    Mandya:

    Held by actor, M B Ambareesh of the Congress, Mandya would witness an interesting contest. Mandya part of the sugarcane belt of Karnataka where the Cauvery issue matters the most has been considered as a JD(S) stronghold owing to the high Vokkaliga population. Will Ambareesh get a ticket from here or will the Congress go with Ramya who is in charge of the Congress social media cell?

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