BJP will have to sweat it out in Belgaum

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Media Coverage of Belgaum for the Loksabha Elections 2009

Here is a story form The Hindu.


Suresh Angadi is relying on Lingayat votes & Congress is a divided house in Belgaum.

In the absence of any “wave” in favour or against any political party and despite a visible degree of public anger against the Bharatiya Janata Party for its failure to implement the promise of distributing rice at Rs. 2 per kg, the “Operation Lotus,” and allegations of corruption in appointments and transfers, the party may retain the Belgaum Lok Sabha seat.

The present MP, Suresh C. Angadi, an influential Lingayat leader, is locked in a “50:50” contest with Congress candidate Amarsinh Patil. The Janata Dal (S) has also fielded a Lingayat in A.B. Patil, who quit the Congress after being denied the party ticket.

The threat of a section in the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) to vote against him for his remarks on President Pratibha Patil and Chhatrapati Shivaji in the recent past has only compounded his problems. Even a section of the Kannada workers have turned against him for his support to MES on the flag row here recently. Although he tendered an apology to both the groups, it has demoralised his own party men.

Amarsinh Patil is campaigning all alone. He is relying on the support of the backward classes, particularly Kurubas, Dalits, Christians and Muslims, and those who are disillusioned with BJP’s style of governance in Karnataka.

Mr. Angadi is banking on the support of the Lingayats and a majority of the Marathi-speaking voters, a section of Dalits, traditional supporters of BJP, and new young voters.

He is confident that BJP Government’s initiatives to develop Belgaum into a second capital by establishing the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, besides national issues like terrorism; recession, price rise and growing unemployment would work in his favour.

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