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

News Network
March 29, 2023

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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
June 10,2024

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet in his historic third term will retain the known faces in the big four ministries - Amit Shah will retain the Home portfolio, Rajnath Singh Defence, Foreign ministry will be retained by S Jaishankar and the Finance ministry by Nirmala Sitharaman. 

The Prime Minister himself will handle the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Space.

Many of the ministers have been retained with their last jobs in the interest of continuity as well. Among them is Nitin Gadkari, who will retain the Road Transport and Highways ministry with two juniors under him -- Ajay Tamta and Harsh Malhotra. The 67-year-old has been the longest serving minister in the department and has been credited with the building of construction of more than 54,858 km of national highways over the last 10 years.

Piyush Goyal has retained the Commerce portfolio.

JP Nadda, the health minister in PM Modi's first cabinet, has been brought back with the same portfolio. He has also been given additional charge of the Chemicals and Fertilisers department.

The plum portfolios of I&B and railways will be handled by Ashwini Vaishnaw. The Civil Aviation Ministry has changed hands from Jyotiraditya Scindia to TDP's Ram Mohan Naidu, the youngest minister in the cabinet. Mr Scindia has been put in charge of the Telecom ministry.

Two former Chief Ministers from the key BJP states of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, who have been brought to the Centre, have been allocated significant responsibility. Manohar Lal Khattar will handle two key ministries -- Power and Housing and Urban Affairs. For the first, he would have the assistance of junior minister Shripad Naik, for the second, Tokhan Sahu, the first-time minister from Chhattisgarh.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the four-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, will handle the key ministry of Agriculture, and the related Farmers Welfare and Rural Development ministries.

Former Minister for Earth Sciences and Food Processing, Kiren Rijiju, has been put in charge of Parliamentary Affairs, previously handled by Pralhad Joshi. Mr Joshi has been moved to the Food, Consumer Affairs and Renewable Energy department.

CR Paatil will be in charge of Jal Shakti ministry and Bhupendra Yadav, Environment. Giriraj Singh has been shifted to Textiles -- a department handled by Smriti Irani. Annapurna Devi will be in charge of the other portfolio handled by Ms Irani -- Women & Child Development. Mansukh Mandavia has been put in charge of Labour and Employment and Sports and Youth Affairs.

Ravneet Singh Bittu -- the grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh who was assassinated in 1995 -- will be the junior minster for food processing and railways. Mr Bittu has lost the election from Ludhiana and will have to get a seat in either house of parliament within the next six months.

Among allies, former Bihar Chief Minister and HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi will have charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with Shobha Karandlaje as the Minister of State.

South ally and Janata Dal Secular chief HD Kumaraswamy has been put in charge of the Heavy Industries and Steel portfolios.

Key Bihar ally and LJP chief Chirag Paswan has been given charge of the Food Processing department.

Among the Ministers of State with Independent Charge, Dr Jitendra Singh is expected to be the busiest. A third-time Union minister from Jammu and Kashmir, he has been put in charge of multiple portfolios -- Science and Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space and the Prime Minister's Office.

Arjun Ram Meghwal will have Independent charge of for Law and Justice and will also be the junior minister for Parliamentary Affairs.

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News Network
June 7,2024

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Mangaluru: Dakshina Kannada District Congress Committee (DCC) President Harish Kumar said that there is no question of him resigning for the party’s debacle in Dakshina Kannada (DK) Lok Sabha constituency.

 “If the party high command wishes to change the DCC President and appoint a new president, then I will continue to work as a party worker. I am an honest party worker and never engaged in groupism,” he told media persons.

To a query on an online campaign asking the DCC President to tender resignation, he said resignation is not carried in pockets. I am not a student of “WhatsApp University,” but I am a Congress student. I have grown in the Congress from student leader till the DCC President. The party has given me the responsibility by looking at my service to the party,” he said.

“None had tendered resignations to the post of DCC President when the candidates were lost in the past,” he clarified.

Stating that the Congress failed to win the Lok Sabha election in DK constituency inspite of united efforts by the leaders, he said “we had worked hard for the victory of the candidate. There were no differences of opinion among the leaders in the party. All of us are responsible for the defeat. We are all with Padmaraj and will strengthen the party further to face the upcoming elections,” he said.

“Padmaraj R Poojary had owned the responsibility for his defeat. All of us are responsible for the defeat and the candidate is not alone responsible,” he said.

He said “the party had a setback even in the state by bagging only nine seats. We had expected to win atleast 14 seats. However, our vote share has increased by two per cent when compared to the Assembly elections. Even in DK, Congress has won more votes.”

Harish Kumar said that he will also own the responsibility for the defeat of the candidates in South west graduates and teachers constituency. “We had expected a victory in the teachers constituency. However, the party had failed to bridge the gap among the graduates and teachers in the district.”

To a query on District in Charge Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao failing to visit the district as one of the reasons for the party’s debacle, DCC President said that Dinesh Gundu Rao was throughout engaged in the party’s campaign in the district.

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News Network
June 9,2024

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath today along with 72 ministers of the new coalition government. 30 of them are Cabinet Ministers, 5 independent charge, and 36 Ministers of State. The portfolios will be announced later.

PM Modi, 73, will head a coalition government in his third term, or Modi 3.0, for the first time since he became Prime Minister in 2014 following a huge "Brand Modi" victory after 10 years of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule.

In keeping with 'coalition dharma', the new Council of Ministers will be 72-strong and comprise 11 ministers belonging to NDA partners. The Council of Ministers will have a broad representation of social groups, including 27 Other Backward Classes (OBC), 10 Scheduled Castes (SC), 5 Scheduled Tribes (ST), and 5 minorities. A record 18 senior Ministers will be heading major ministries.

The oath ceremony is being held at the lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with the weather office forecasting a maximum temperature of 42 degree Celsius in the national capital.

President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath to PM Modi. Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah took oath after PM Modi. Nitin Gadkari was the fourth leader to be administered the oath of office. JP Nadda, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Nirmala Sitharaman followed.

Leaders from India's neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean Region including Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended the event.

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