Lok Sabha phase 3 polls: Among 94 seats country wide, Karnataka’s 14 to see BJP Vs Congress

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had swept all these 14 seats, defeating Congress and JD(S), which were in alliance and ruling the state then.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 06, 2024 | 3:14 PMUpdatedMay 06, 2024 | 3:17 PM

Lok Sabha phase three polls

The electoral process is set to gain momentum as 94 Lok Sabha seats spread across 12 states and Union territories will go to polls in the third phase on Tuesday, 7 May.

Among these, Goa will witness polling for two seats, Gujarat for 26 seats, Chhattisgarh for seven seats, and Karnataka for 14 seats, marking the conclusion of the parliament elections in these states.

Additionally, voting will take place for two Lok Sabha seats in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu on Tuesday.

Furthermore, voters in four seats of Assam, five seats of Bihar, eight seats of Madhya Pradesh, eleven seats of Maharashtra, 10 seats of Uttar Pradesh, four seats of West Bengal, and one seat of Jammu and Kashmir will also participate in this phase, contributing to the democratic exercise.

Incumbent Union Ministers Amit Shah, Jyotiraditya Scindia, and Pralhad Joshi are some of the prominent leaders from the ruling party contesting from Gandhinagar, Guna and Dharwad segments, respectively.

Also Read: Campaigning for second phase of 14 LS seats ends in Karnataka

BJP Vs Congress in Karnataka

Among the southern states, only Karnataka is going for polling in the third phase. The elections are being held for 14 seats, whereas the polling for the other 14 seats was held on 26 April.

The constituencies where elections will be held on Tuesday are: Bellary (ST), Bijapur (SC), Haveri-Gadag, Gulbarga (SC), Bidar, Davanagere, Dharwad, Uttar Kannada, Belagavi, Chikkodi, Shimoga, Bagalkot, Raichur (ST) and Koppal.

In Karnataka, it is going to be a straight fight between BJP and Congress. The JD(S) is not contesting in these seats and is supporting its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partner— the BJP.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had swept all these 14 seats, defeating Congress and JD(S), which were in alliance and ruling the state then.

Having scored a thumping victory in the Assembly elections last year, the Congress now appears determined to put up a strong show.

Karnataka is the most important state for the BJP in south India as it’s only here that it has held power in the past.

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All ready: CEO

Speaking to PTI, Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Manoj Kumar Meena said adequate security arrangements have been made for Tuesday’s polling.

“Around 1.45 lakh polling officials have been deployed across the 14 constituencies. In addition, 35,000 civil police personnel, 65 companies of Central Paramilitary forces and armed police of other states will be deployed for the polling day,” he said.

Besides this, 4,000 micro-observers will also be on duty and 17,000 polling stations will be covered by webcasting, he added.

A total of 227 candidates —206 men and 21 women— are in the fray for the second phase.

More than 2.59 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 28,269 polling stations where voting will take place between 7 am to 6 pm.

Davangere has the maximum number of 30 candidates, followed by 23 in Shimoga and Raichur has the least number – eight.

Two former CMs from BJP in fray

Two former Karnataka Chief Ministers Jagadish Shettar and Basavaraj Bommai are in fray from Belagavi and Haveri-Gadag, respectively.

Jagadish Shettar served as the chief minister for about 10 months from 12 July, 2012 to 13 May, 2013. He is trying his luck for the very first time in the parliament elections.

It may be noted that he faced his first defeat in electoral politics in the 2023 assembly polls from the Hubballi-Dharwad central assembly segment.

Former CM Basavaraj Bommai is also in the fray in the Haveri-Gadag constituency. He is currently representing the Shiggaon segment in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly— the lone sitting BJP MLA contesting in the parliament elections.

Six-time MP Ramesh Jigajinagi from Bijapur (SC), Union Minister Bhagwanth Khuba from Bidar, four-time MP PC Gaddigoudar and former Deputy CM B Sriramulu from Ballari (ST) are some of the prominent leaders from the BJP contesting in the parliament elections in Karnataka.

BJP parliamentary board member and former CM BS Yediyurappa’s son incumbent MP BY Raghavendra is fighting from the Shimoga seat.

Also Read: Jagadish Shettar returns to BJP, stuns Congress ahead of LS polls

Kin of ministers from Congress

In the second phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the children of four ministers in the Siddaramaiah cabinet are also contesting.

This is the maiden parliamentary election for them.

  • Minister for Women and Child Welfare Laxmi Hebbalkar’s son Mrunal Hebbalkar from Belagavi
  • Minister for Public Works Satish Jarkiholi’s daughter Priyanka Jarkiholi from Chikkodi
  • Minister for Sugar and Textiles Shivananda Patil’s daughter Samyukta Patil from Bagalkot
  • Minister for Forest Eshwar Khandre’s son Sagar Khandre from Bidar

Apart from them Minister for Mines and Geology SS Mallikarjun’s wife Prabha Mallikarjun is contesting from Davanagere seat.

Koppal MLA Raghavendra Hitnal’s brother Rajashekar Hitnal is fighting from Koppal.

Importantly, AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s son-in-law Radhakrishna Doddamani is taking on BJP’s Umesh Jadhav from Gulbarga (SC) seat.

Kannada actor Shivarajkumar’s wife Geetha Shivarajkumar is trying her luck from the Shivamogga seat.

Congress’ four-time Sandur MLA E Tukaram is fighting from the Bellary (ST) seat. Former MLA Raju Alagur is contesting from Vijayapura.

Former MLA Anjali Nimbalkar is fighting from the Uttar Kannada seat. Party worker Vinod Asooti from the Dharwad seat.

Important elections for Congress

The Congress’ performance in the elections, especially in the second phase which covers almost all Lingayat-dominated districts, is crucial, as the party did not win one of them in 2019, and to also check whether the grand old party has managed to retain the support of a section of Lingayats—considered as the BJP’s core vote-base— which seemed to have somewhat shifted towards it in the 2023 Assembly polls.

The Lok Sabha election is being seen as a big test of sorts for Congress state unit chief DK Shivakumar, who has made no secret of his ambition to become chief minister, amid speculations of change in guard mid-way of the Assembly term.

The stakes are also high for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, as victory in this election is seen as key to strengthening his hands, analysts say.

Litmus test for Vijayendra

It is also seen as a kind of “litmus test” for state BJP president BY Vijayendra, who has the onerous task of helping the party retain its supremacy in the Lok Sabha polls, by regaining its traditional Lingayat vote base.

Ensuring a BJP sweep is paramount for the son of veteran leader B S Yediyurappa, to consolidate his position and silence critics who have questioned his selection to the post, overlooking seniors and seasoned hands.

The ruling Congress is mostly banking on the implementation of its populist five guarantee schemes while the BJP seems to be leveraging the “Modi factor” to the hilt.

(With inputs from Mahesh M Goudar, and PTI)

(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula)