Ex-Minister Vinay Kulkarni lost the 2018 Assembly elections from Dharwad Assembly as well as the 2014 LS elections.

Third time lucky Cong picks Vinay Kulkarni who lost two elections in a row for Dharwad
news Lok Sabha 2019 Wednesday, April 03, 2019 - 12:37

After much deliberation, the Congress High Command finally announced on Wednesday morning that former MLA and minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet, Vinay Kulkarni will be the party’s candidate for the Dharwad seat.

Thursday, April 4 is last day for filing nominations for the 14 seats heading for elections on April 23.

Ahead of Wednesday's announcement, Kulkarni had been part of a hectic lobbying process. He now faces the herculean task of undoing the damage caused by his defeat in 2014 against BJP stalwart Prahlad Joshi.

Joshi, who has held the seat from 2009 to 2014, had won by a margin of over 1 lakh votes in 2014, with Kulkarni finishing a distant second.

Incidentally, Kulkarni lost the 2018 Assembly elections from Dharwad Assembly constituency by a margin of over 20,000 votes, with BJP’s Amrut Desai finishing first. Kulkarni is a Lingayat, the dominant population in the region. According to political analysts, the move was made in hopes of consolidating minority and OBC votes for the Congress. 

Kulkarni secured the ticket ahead of the likes of Shakir Sanadi, Sadanand Danganavar and Srinivas Mane. While Sanadi is the district chief of the party and a known face since his Youth Congress days, Sadanand is the chairman of North West Karnataka Road Transportation Corporation. Srinivas is currently a MLC who is part of the district Congress unit.

Sadanand is also reportedly close to KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao.

While the Congress deliberated, an impatient Kulkarni had even threatened to contest as an independent if the party refused to grant him a ticket, according to political circles.

Recently Kulkarni was in the news after it was found that his father-in-law, Gangappa Shintri, was the part owner of the Dharwad building which collapsed killing 19.

While the party went with the previous time’s candidate in Dharwad, it announced that Davangere district president and a novice in electoral politics, HB Manjappa will contest against the incumbent BJP MP GM Siddeshwara.

The party’s initial choice, the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha Shamanur Shivashankarappa, denied the ticket, and instead sought a ticket for his son SS Mallikarjun.  

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.