Congress minister Vinay Kulkarni bit the dust against BJP's Amrut Desai in Dharwad assembly constituency. Minister in the Siddaramaiah, Vinay Kulkarni was a prominent face in the movement for separate religion status for Lingayat community. It may be recalled that Vinay Kulkarni was head of Rashtriya Basva Sene -a group dedicated for the Lingayat cause.
Amrut Desai got 85123 votes and Vinay Kulkarni 64783 votes. Amrut Desai defeated Vinay Kulkarni by a margin of 20,340 votes. Tirakappa Jamanal of Janata Dal (Secular) got only 1263 votes.
Vinay Kulkarni, who belongs to a Lingayat sub-caste Panchamsaali, was expected to face a tough challenge from the BJP's Amrut Desai in Dharwad assembly. Amrut Desai had joined the BJP from JDS during the last general election. Desai belongs to Sadar Linagayt, another Linagayat sub-caste.
In the 2013 assembly election, Amrut Desai was in second place against Vinay Kulkarni. Owing to the division of Lingayat and traditional vote base between BJP and BS Yeddyurappa-led KJP, BJP MLA Seema Masuti was pushed to third place.
BJP fielded Desai considering his family reputation and caste to pose a challenge for Vinay Kulkarni.