News Karnataka
Thursday, February 22 2024

Belagavi: Cong to re-inaugurate Shivaji statue, poll fight deepens

Photo Credit : IANS

Belagavi: Congress is all set to re-unviel the 43-feet tall Chatrapathi Shivaji statue at Rajahamsagarh in districts Rural constituency on Saturday March 4. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had inaugurated the same statue with fanfare on Mar 2.

Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Congress MLA from Belagavi Rural constituency remained absent from the inaugural function. She had announced that the inauguration will be done on March 5, challenging the ruling BJP government.

The preparations are made for today’s inauguration programme and the Congress party is roping in thousands of people for the function. Though, at the outset, the development seems to be a rivalry between BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi and Congress MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar, sources explain that it is a fight between Ramesh Jarkiholi and Congress State President D.K. Shivakumar.

BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, a mass leader, who has a strong hold in Gokak constituency and surrounding areas, played an important role in bringing down Congress- JD (S) coalition government.

Later, when BJP came to power and B.S. Yediyurappa became the CM, Ramesh Jarkiholi was given a cabinet berth of his choice. Later, Ramesh Jarkiholi had to resign following the alleged sex-CD scandal. Jarkiholi suspects the hand of Shivakumar behind all this. Shivakumar is the godfather for Lakshmi Hebbalkar and challenges Jarkiholi on his home turf of Belagavi district.

The Ruling BJP and opposition Congress have turned the inauguration of the statue controversy also vying with each other for the credit and eying Maratha vote bank in the district.

Ramesh Jarkiholi pressed for inauguration of the statue by the district administration and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai did the same on Thursday.

Sources explain that there are more than 1 lakh Maratha votes in Belagavi Rural constituency. There are 18 assembly seats in Belagavi district and presence of Maratha voters could be felt in all constituencies. In some of the constituencies, Maratha votes are dominant. Sources in both the parties confide that Belagavi is the most important district for them.

BJP insiders explain that the recent Prime Minister’s road show of 10.7 kilometres in Belagavi of was organised to pass on a message in the region which had witnessed a language row.

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