Karnataka: BJP bastion Davanagere set to witness tough election battle

Since the 1999 general election, the Davanagere Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka has been a fortress of the BJP as no party has been able to beat it.
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Image for Representation
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Since the 1999 general election, the Davanagere Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka has been a fortress of the BJP as no party has been able to beat it.

Located in the central part of Karnataka, the powerful families of two candidates, who are also relatives of each other, dominate the political space in the Davanagere region.

The President of Akhila Bharata Veershaiva-Lingayat Mahasabha and Congress MLA, 92-year-old Shamanur Shivashankarappa’s daughter-in-law Prabha Mallikarjun has been fielded by the Congress for the seat. Her husband S.S. Mallikarjun is a minister of Horticulture in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's cabinet.

The BJP has announced the candidature of Gayathri Mallikarjun, wife of sitting MP G.M. Siddeshwar from the Davanagere seat. Siddeshwar has represented Davanagere seat for BJP in the 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 general elections.

Siddeshwar's father G. Mallikarjunappa had represented the constituency during the Lok Sabha 1996 and 1999.

Former BJP Ministers M.P. Renukacharya, S.A. Ravindranath and senior leader Madal Virupakshappa are opposing Gayathri Siddeshwar and demanding the replacement of the candidate and also many other prominent BJP leaders of the district are opposing Gayathri Siddeshwar.

The Congress too has made it difficult for the BJP this time by roping in Prabha Mallikarjun.

In 2019, G.M. Siddeshwar won the election with a margin of 1.69 lakh votes. In the 2014 general election, he won by 17,607 votes as Congress had fielded Minister S.S. Mallikarjun against him.

The locals said that with Mallikarjun's wife Prabha in the fray, it will not be an easy win for the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Prabha Mallikarjun has done the MBBS (Dental) degree and Gayathri Mallikarjun has studied PUC (Class 12). Prabha is also the life trustee of SS Care Trust and the Governing Council Member of Bapuji Educational Association.

Davanagere Lok Sabha constituency comprises the assembly constituencies of Jagalur, Harapanahalli, Harihar, Davanagere South, Davanagere North, Mayakonda, Channagiri and Honnali.

Barring the Harihar assembly segment, Congress has won all other segments. With the BJP's internal fight and resourceful Congress candidate, a tough fight is expected.

However, despite the internal opposition, BJP cadres are confident of victory.

The Congress held the seat from 1971 to 1991. In 1998, Shamanur Shivashankarappa won as a Congress candidate.

With two powerful families pitching in women candidates, the Davanagere seat has become one of the high-profile constituencies in the state.

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