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In two years, BJP lost two key Lingayat netas in Belagavi region

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Bengaluru: With the death of Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti, BJP that is still grappling to find a suitable replacement for the leader of calibre of late Suresh Angadi in Belagavi region, is at the cross roads again.

In a span of two years, BJP has lost two prominent leaders, both belonging to Veerashaiva- Lingayat community that has been a trusted vote base especially for the saffron party in Karnataka, with former chief minister B S Yediyurappa emerging as the tall leader of the very community in Karnataka. 

While Katti died of heart attack at the age of 61 on September 6, Angadi died at the age of 65 on September 24, 2020, owing to Covid-19 complications.

Definitely, it wasn’t an age to die in the case of both the leaders, for they had a more role to play in Belagavi politics, having cast a spell on their electorate for longer years, establishing themselves as established leaders.

Though former Belagavi MP and Katti’s younger brother Ramesh Katti appears to be a successor to his brother, Mangala Angadi is already representing the Belagavi constituency in Lok Sabha after her husband’s death. But can they replicate the politics of continuity, wielding influence like their kin did? One has to wait and watch.

For record, Katti was serving his eighth term in the Legislative Assembly representing family bastion Hukkeri constituency in Belagavi. It was his father Vishwanath Katti who was representing the constituency till his death in 1985.

Angadi was the sitting Union Minister of State for Railways at the time of his death. He was also representing Belagavi Parliamentary constituency for the consecutive fourth term, ever since he won his maiden election to Lok Sabha in the year 2004.

Unlike Katti, Angadi rose ranks in politics as he started his career as the Vice- President of BJP Belagavi district unit in 1996. He became president in 2001 and also got a ticket to contest Lok Sabha election in 2004. Since then there was no looking back.

While former deputy chief minister and incumbent BJP MLC is also a Veerashaiva- Lingayat, hailing from Athani in the district, it remains to be seen how can he fill the vacuum created with the death of these two leaders in the region not just for the party, but also the community.

Prabhakar Kore the Chairman of KLE Society headquartered in Belagavi, though a Veerashaiva- Lingayat, it was in 2009 that he switched over to BJP from Congress and he most represented the party in Rajya Sabha. It also remains to be seen how can he penetrate his influence on the State politics.

– Team Mysoorunews 

Mysooru News

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