Karnataka polls: UTK’s Mangaluru, DKS’ Kanakapura… 20 seats to watch out for

News Network
March 29, 2023


For the May 10 Assembly elections in Karnataka, following are the 20 seats to watch out for:

1. Shiggaon: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is the sitting MLA. He won the 2018 assembly election with a victory margin of 9,265 votes against Sayed Azeem Peer Khadri (Congress).

2. Varuna: Congress stalwart and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is going back to his old constituency, which he had ‘sacrificed’ for his son S Yathindra in 2018 and went on to contest from Chamundeshwari and Badami. While he lost from Chamundeshwari to JD(S) candidate G T Deve Gowda, he won with a margin of 1,996 against the BJP candidate B Sriramulu in Badami. Now, it is his son’s turn to make the "sacrifice".

3. Mangaluru: The Congress has again fielded its Deputy Leader in Assembly, U T Khader Ali Fareed. He is the only Congress MLA in the BJP stronghold of Dakshina Kannada district.

4. Mandya: M Srinivas from the JD(S) had won the 2018 assembly election defeating the Congress candidate. The BJP, which was in the third position, now has the backing of independent MP Sumalatha, who recently extended her support to it.

5. Kanakapura: Congress state president D K Shivakumar, nick-named as ‘Kanakapura Rock’ is a seven-time MLA and has maintained his winning streak from 1989 to till date.

6. Hassan: The BJP’s Preetham Gowda broke the JD(S) monopoly last time by defeating H S Prakash with a victory margin of about 13,000 votes. This time, the JD(S) is confronted with a ‘family feud’ where Deve Gowda’s daughter-in-law (H D Revanna’s wife) Bhavani has demanded a ticket to contest from Hassan.

7. Kolar: Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had expressed his willingness to contest from here but withdrew at the last moment. The JD(S) sitting MLA K Srinivasa Gowda had sided with the Congress during the Rajya Sabha election last year in June. The JD(S) has to hunt for a new candidate.

8. Channapatna: JD(S) second-in-command H D Kumaraswamy decided to contest from here instead of Ramanagara in 2018 only to defeat the local strongman C P Yogeeshwara. Kumaraswamy is again contesting from the same constituency.

9. Shikaripura: The seat held by former CM and Lingayat strongman B S Yediyurappa is now vacant following his retirement from active politics. There is a buzz in political circles that his second son B Y Vijayendra may get the ticket.

10. Shivamogga: K S Eshwarappa, who resigned as minister following a bribery charge, is the sitting MLA here.

11. Soraba: This constituency may see the two sons of former chief minister late S Bangarappa, Kumar Bangarappa, who is a sitting BJP MLA, and Madhu Bangarappa, pitted against each other again. Last time the JD(S) gave Madhu ticket but this time he is in the Congress.

12. Gokak: Nicknamed as 'Sahukara', Ramesh Jarkiholi of the powerful Jarkiholi family of Belagavi has been representing this seat since 1999. Jarkiholi resigned from his ministerial position following a sex scandal two years ago. Jarkiholi quit Congress and joined the BJP in 2019.

13. Devanahalli: The Modi Juggernaut in 2019 had halted Congress MP K H Muniyappa’s long stint in Lok Sabha continuously from 1991. Muniyappa who had spent all his electoral politics in Lok Sabha is trying his luck from Devanahalli and he will fight the assembly election against JD(S) sitting MLA L N Narayana Swamy.

14. Gangavati: Gangavati has suddenly become important after the mining baron and former BJP minister G Janardhana Reddy decided to fight from here representing his new party “Karnataka Rajya Pragathi Paksha ''. Currently it is held by Paranna Ishwarappa Munavalli of BJP.

15. Vijayapura: Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, known for his controversial statements, is the BJP MLA here.

16. Ballari city: Former Minister, mining baron and chief of Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha, G Janardhana Reddy has announced that his wife Aruna Lakshmi will be fielded from here. Reddy's brother G Somasekara Reddy is the sitting BJP MLA.

17. Chittapur: Former Minister Priyank Kharge, son of AICC President M Mallikarjuna Kharge, is seeking reelection from here.

18. Koratagere: Former Deputy Chief Minister and five time MLA, G Parameshwara, is seeking reelection from here. A former state congress chief, who served in that post for eight years, he has already said he is among the Chief Ministerial aspirants.

19. Ramanagara: Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and daughter-in-law of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, had won the 2018 election. This time the party has fielded Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil. He had lost his maiden poll battle in the Lok Sabha election in 2019 to the BJP backed independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh from Mandya.

20. Chikkamagaluru: BJP national general secretary and four-time MLA C T Ravi, is representing this seat. 


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News Network
May 27,2023


The Bharatiya Janta Party-led government of India plans to push back against the country rankings produced by global agencies on topics like governance and press freedom, a key advisor to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted as saying by news agencies.

Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of Modi's Economic Advisory Council, said India has begun to raise this issue at global forums. He said the indices were being compiled by a "tiny group of think tanks in the North Atlantic," sponsored by three or four funding agencies that are "driving a real-world agenda."

"It is not just narrative building in some diffused way. This has clear direct impact on trade, investment and other activities," Sanyal said.

India ranked lower than Afghanistan and Pakistan in the new World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders. It was below Pakistan and Bhutan in an academic freedom index by V-Dem Institute.

Over the past year, Indian government has in various meetings pointed out the flaws in methods used to compile global indices used by institutions like the World Bank, World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sanyal said.

The "World Bank is involved in this discussion because it takes these opinions from these think tanks and effectively sanctifies it by putting it into something called the world governance index," Sanyal said.

The World Bank, WEF, Reporters Without Borders and V-DEM Institute did not immediately respond to requests for comment. UNDP said it would respond shortly.

Sanyal said the ratings also get hard-wired into decision-making through environmental, social and governance (ESG) norms and sovereign ratings. Multilateral development banks offer subsidised loans to ESG-compliant projects.

"The idea of having some ESG norms is not the problem in itself. The problem relates to how these norms are defined and who certifies or measures compliance to these norms," he said. "As things are currently evolving, developing countries have been completely left out of the conversation."

The matter is being taken up by the Cabinet Secretariat, which has held more than a dozen meetings on the issue this year, a government official said. The Cabinet Secretariat and finance ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

India has said it plans to be an advocate for developing countries under its G20 presidency. Sanyal did not say if India has flagged the issue of country rankings with the G20.

"There are other developing countries who are also concerned about this because effectively this is a form of neo-colonialism," he said, adding that concerned ministries have been asked to establish benchmarks and engage continuously with rating agencies.

Some of the upcoming indices being watched out by India are the financial development index by International Monetary Fund, gender inequality and human development indices by UNDP, logistics performance and worldwide governance indicators by the World Bank, sources said. 


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News Network
May 20,2023


Bengaluru, May 20: As many as eight Congress MLAs were sworn in as ministers in the Karnataka Cabinet during the oath-taking ceremony of Karnataka’s new chief minister and his deputy in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered the oath of office and secrecy to the MLAs at the swearing-in ceremony held at the jam-packed Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's son Priyank Kharge, party's MLAs G Parameshwara and MB Patil were among the eight MLAs.

The other MLAs who took oath included KH Muniyappa, KJ George, Satish Jarkiholi, Ramalinga Reddy and BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka for the second time on Saturday after the party's thumping victory in the Assembly elections.

This is the same stadium where Siddaramaiah took oath in 2013 when he became Chief Minister for the first time.

DK Shivakumar was sworn in as sole Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Top brass of the Congress party including the Gandhi family members - Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, party's national president Mallikarjun Kharge were present on the occasion.

The Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states including Himachal CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel attended the event.

The party had also sent an invitation to numerous opposition parties and their leaders.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Deputy Tejashwi Yadav, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah were also present during the swearing-in ceremony.

Other opposition leaders who were present include Sharad Pawar, and Kamal Haasan.

Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan attends the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected Karnataka Government in Bengaluru.

Ahead of the ceremony, Rahul Gandhi, Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah were seen holding each other's hands in the air as a show of strength and unity.

Congress bagged 135 seats in the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly ousting the ruling BJP, which got 66 seats while the Janata Dal (Secular) secured 19 seats in the results declared on May 13.


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News Network
May 15,2023


After the Congress's emphatic 135-seat win in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly polls, the focus has now shifted to the all-important question, "who will be the Chief Minister."

And the race for the top post has heated up between old warhorses Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, with both leaders making no secret of their ambition to lead the southern state. The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) has unanimously authorised All India Congress Committee (AICC) President M Mallikarjun Kharge to pick its leader, who will be the next chief minister of the state.

Here is a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenges) analysis of the two aspiring CMs.


•    Mass appeal across the state
•    Popular among a large section of Congress legislators
•    Experience of having run a full-term government as Chief Minister (2013-18).
•    Able administrator with experience of having presented 13 budgets.
•    Clout among the AHINDA (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits).
•    Strong ability to take on BJP and JD(S), most importantly PM Modi and his government on issues.
•    Considered close to Rahul Gandhi and apparently has his backing.

•    Not so much organisationally connected with the party.
•    Failure in bringing the Congress government back to power in 2018 under his leadership.
•    Still considered an outsider by a section of Congress old guard. He was formerly with the JD(S).
•    Age factor- Sidddaramiah is 75.

*Acceptability, appeal and experience to take along every one to run a government with a decisive mandate, and strengthen Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
* IT, ED and CBI cases against opponent Shivakumar, who is also eyeing the CM post.
*Last election and last chance to become CM.
•    Uniting of senior Congress old guards like Mallikarjun Kharge, G Parameshwara, who have missed becoming CM because of Siddaramaiah, also B K Hariprasad, K H Muniyappa among others against him.
•    Call for a Dalit CM. *Shivakumar's organisational strength, party's 'troubleshooter' tag, loyalty image across the country, and closeness to Gandhi family, especially Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

D K Shivakumar: 

•    Strong organisational capabilities and having led the party to victory in elections.
•    Known for party loyalty.
•    Considered Congress' ace troubleshooter during difficult times.
•    Resourceful leader.
•    Has the backing of the dominant Vokkaliga community, its influential seers and leaders.
•    Closeness to Gandhi family. * Age factor on his side.
•    Long political experience; has handled various portfolios.

•     Cases against him before IT, ED and CBI.
•    Jail term in Tihar
•    Lesser mass appeal and experience compared to Siddaramaiah. 
•    Clout by and large limited to the Old Mysuru region.
•    Not having much backing from other communities.

•    Congress' domination of the Old Mysuru region would go to Shivakumar, a Vokkaliga.
•    KPCC President, as the natural choice to be the CM, like in the case of SM Krishna and Veerendra Patil.
•    Chances of the party old guard backing him.

•    Siddaramaiah's experience, seniority and mass appeal.
•    Chances of large number of MLAs backing Siddaramaiah.
•    Legal hurdles because of cases filed by central agencies.
•    Call for a Dalit or Lingayat CM.
•    Rahul Gandhi's apparent backing of Siddaramaiah.


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