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Sonia Gandhi clears Satish Jarkiholi's name for Belagavi LS by-election

Sonia Gandhi clears Satish Jarkiholi’s name for Belagavi LS by-election
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Sonia Gandhi clears Satish Jarkiholi’s name for Belagavi LS by-election 

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday approved Satish Jarkiholi's candidature for the Belagavi Lok Sabha by-election

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Bengaluru: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday approved Satish Jarkiholi's candidature for the Belagavi Lok Sabha by-election.

Satish is the Congress working president and was elected from Yemakanmardi reserve constituency (ST) in Belagavi. He was minister in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government and the Congress- JD(S) coalition led by H.D. Kumaraswamy.

The decision comes in the wake of the controversy involving his brother, Ramesh Jarkiholi who had to resign from the State cabinet after accusations surfaced of his involvement in a sex scandal. The Congress party insiders say that initially Satish was reluctant to contest the by-election, but the party being confident of winning the seat decided to send his name to the high command.

Last week, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar said, "We have recommended Satish Jarkiholi's name to the high command. The decision was taken believing that he is a better candidate to win the seat. We are confident of winning all the seats."

Satish will be pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate Mangala Suresh Angadi, the wife of late Union minister Suresh Angadi. Suresh represented Balagavi in Lok Sabha since 2004 and succumbed to Covid-19 on September 23, 2020.

Apart from Mangala, the BJP considered Shradha Shettar, daughter of Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, Dr Ravi Patil, Mahantesh Kavatagimath and Girish Sonawalkar as potential candidates to contest the by-poll. Incidentally, Mangala is the daughter-in-law of Jagadish Shettar.

While Satish's candidature has made the BJP jittery, it is confident that Mangala would get sympathy votes.

The sources within the party say that Satish, one of the five Jarkiholi brothers, wants to convey the message that the family's hold over the Belagavi district remains as strong as ever. The five brothers - Ramesh, Satish, Balachandra, Bimashi and Lakhan -- since 2004 have gained politicall whichever party stays in power. The sex scandal was a severe blow to the Jarkiholi family.

While Lakhan and Satish joined the Congress, Ramesh, Bhishmi and Balachandra are with the BJP.

Today, the Jarkiholi brothers wield control over mining, education, sugar mills among several businesses and influence the 18 Assembly seats.

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