Officials reject nomination papers of Independent on technical grounds, another withdraws

Ramesh Jarkiholi holding meetings in villages in Gokak and surrounding areas

There are eight candidates in the fray for the Legislative Council polls from the two-member local bodies constituency of Belagavi, after officials rejected the nomination papers of one candidate and another withdrew his.

The officials rejected the nomination papers of Independent candidate Nagappa Kalasannanavar on technical grounds. The nomination papers of the other nine candidates were found to be in order.

However, on Thursday, Jagadish Kavatagimath, brother of BJP candidate Mahantesh Kavatagimath, withdrew in favour of his brother. Jagadish Kavatagimath was a “dummy” candidate who filed his nomination papers to stay in the race, in case his brother’s papers were to be rejected for some reason.

Those left in the race, other than Mahantesh Kavatagimath, are Channaraj Hattiholi, Congress nominee and brother of Lakshmi Hebbalkar, MLA, and Lakhan Jarkiholi, who is fighting the elections as an Independent.

Leaders are sweating it out in the field, each asking for votes for their favoured nominees. The Jarkiholi brothers, however, are facing the charge that they are trying to discretely help their younger brother.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, family patriarch and BJP leader, has been holding meetings in villages in Gokak and surrounding areas. He has openly announced that he will work for the BJP and that he never sought ticket for his brother [Lakhan Jarkiholi]. He accompanied Mahantesh Kavatagimath when he filed his nomination papers two days ago. Balachandra Jarkiholi was not among those who accompanied Mahantesh Kavatagimath. He has, however, been addressing rallies in Mudalagi and Gokak in favour of the BJP, even before the candidates were finalised.

The stand of Satish Jarkiholi is also under public gaze after he said that the Congress will fight only for one seat as it cannot win both. His party respected his stand and nominated only Mr. Hattiholi. Satish Jarkiholi accompanied the Congress candidate when the latter filed his nomination papers and has been speaking at party rallies.

Even on Thursday, Satish Jarkiholi, who is the KPCC working president, addressed rallies in Raibag and Kudchi. He asked gram panchayat and municipal body members to vote for the Congress, irrespective of which leader meets whom. “Lakhan Jarkioli is meeting Sham Ghatage, former MLA from the Congress. The same candidate will go and meet P. Rajeev, BJP MLA. He is confusing others as he is confused himself. This should not affect your choices. You should vote for the Congress based on its principles and ideology,’’ he said.

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