For the May 10 Assembly elections in Karnataka, following are the 20 seats to watch out for:
1. Shiggaon: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is the sitting MLA. He won the 2018 assembly election with a victory margin of 9,265 votes against Sayed Azeem Peer Khadri (Congress).
2. Varuna: Congress stalwart and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is going back to his old constituency, which he had ‘sacrificed’ for his son S Yathindra in 2018 and went on to contest from Chamundeshwari and Badami. While he lost from Chamundeshwari to JD(S) candidate G T Deve Gowda, he won with a margin of 1,996 against the BJP candidate B Sriramulu in Badami. Now, it is his son’s turn to make the ”sacrifice”.
3. Ramanagara: Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and daughter-in-law of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, had won the 2018 election. This time the party has fielded Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil. He had lost his maiden poll battle in the Lok Sabha election in 2019 to the BJP backed independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh from Mandya.
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4. Mandya: M Srinivas from the JD(S) had won the 2018 assembly election defeating the Congress candidate. The BJP, which was in the third position, now has the backing of independent MP Sumalatha, who recently extended her support to it.
5. Kanakapura: Congress state president D K Shivakumar, nick-named as ‘Kanakapura Rock’ is a seven-time MLA and has maintained his winning streak from 1989 to till date.
6. Hassan: The BJP’s Preetham Gowda broke the JD(S) monopoly last time by defeating H S Prakash with a victory margin of about 13,000 votes. This time, the JD(S) is confronted with a ‘family feud’ where Deve Gowda’s daughter-in-law (H D Revanna’s wife) Bhavani has demanded a ticket to contest from Hassan.
7. Kolar: Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had expressed his willingness to contest from here but withdrew at the last moment. The JD(S) sitting MLA K Srinivasa Gowda had sided with the Congress during the Rajya Sabha election last year in June. The JD(S) has to hunt for a new candidate.
8. Channapatna: JD(S) second-in-command H D Kumaraswamy decided to contest from here instead of Ramanagara in 2018 only to defeat the local strongman C P Yogeeshwara. Kumaraswamy is again contesting from the same constituency.
9. Shikaripura: The seat held by former CM and Lingayat strongman B S Yediyurappa is now vacant following his retirement from active politics. There is a buzz in political circles that his second son B Y Vijayendra may get the ticket.
10. Shivamogga: K S Eshwarappa, who resigned as minister following a bribery charge, is the sitting MLA here.
11. Soraba: This constituency may see the two sons of former chief minister late S Bangarappa, Kumar Bangarappa, who is a sitting BJP MLA, and Madhu Bangarappa, pitted against each other again. Last time the JD(S) gave Madhu ticket but this time he is in the Congress.
12. Gokak: Nicknamed as ‘Sahukara’, Ramesh Jarkiholi of the powerful Jarkiholi family of Belagavi has been representing this seat since 1999. Jarkiholi resigned from his ministerial position following a sex scandal two years ago. Jarkiholi quit Congress and joined the BJP in 2019.
13. Devanahalli: The Modi Juggernaut in 2019 had halted Congress MP K H Muniyappa’s long stint in Lok Sabha continuously from 1991. Muniyappa who had spent all his electoral politics in Lok Sabha is trying his luck from Devanahalli and he will fight the assembly election against JD(S) sitting MLA L N Narayana Swamy.
14. Gangavati: Gangavati has suddenly become important after the mining baron and former BJP minister G Janardhana Reddy decided to fight from here representing his new party “Karnataka Rajya Pragathi Paksha ”. Currently it is held by Paranna Ishwarappa Munavalli of BJP.
15. Vijayapura: Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, known for his controversial statements, is the BJP MLA here.
16. Ballari city: Former Minister, mining baron and chief of Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha, G Janardhana Reddy has announced that his wife Aruna Lakshmi will be fielded from here. Reddy’s brother G Somasekara Reddy is the sitting BJP MLA.
17. Chittapur: Former Minister Priyank Kharge, son of AICC President M Mallikarjuna Kharge, is seeking reelection from here.
18. Koratagere: Former Deputy Chief Minister and five time MLA, G Parameshwara, is seeking reelection from here. A former state congress chief, who served in that post for eight years, he has already said he is among the Chief Ministerial aspirants.
19. Mangaluru: The Congress has again fielded its Deputy Leader in Assembly, U T Khader Ali Fareed. He is the only Congress MLA in the BJP stronghold of Dakshina Kannada district.
20. Chikkamagaluru: BJP national general secretary and four-time MLA C T Ravi, is representing this seat.