In the changed political scenario as a sequel to the Congress’s good show in the last Assembly elections, party workers are upbeat in the Koppal Lok Sabha constituency — the party won in seven of the eight Assembly segments, and differences in the Bharatiya Janata Party has only added to their delight.
The BJP on Saturday announced the candidature of Karadi Sanganna, who takes the place of incumbent MP Shivaramegouda.
Leaders of the three major political parties — Congress, BJP and Janata Dal (S) — have been busy working out permutations and combinations over the choice of the candidate who can muster the support of the Other Backward Classes, who will play a decisive role in the Lok Sabha election.
The constituency is essentially a Congress stronghold. The Congress won in four of the seven elections held between 1989 and 2009. While the undivided Janata Dal won twice (1989 and 1996), the undivided BJP won once (2009).
Amaregouda Byyapur, former MLA, K. Basavaraj Hitnal, president of the Koppal District Congress Committee, and Baswavanagouda Badarli, president of the Youth Congress unit for the Koppal Lok Sabha constituency, are in the race to get party ticket.
The BJP got a shot in the arm after the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who had joined the Karnataka Janata Paksha, returned to the party. The BSR Congress, though willing to merge with the BJP, has to wait for now as some senior leaders, especially Sushma Swaraj, have expressed their opposition for the merger or an alliance with the party that has the Reddy brothers who are facing charges. Going by the vote share, it is clear that the BSR Congress is an important factor for the BJP to emerge victorious.
The Janata Dal (S) seems to be waiting for the Congress and the BJP to announce the names of their candidates. The names of Iqbal Ansari, Gangavathi MLA, and S.C. Neeravari, former MLC, are among the probable candidates in the JD(S) list.