Belgaum, a backbone for automobile industry and nerve centre for foundries in Karnataka, will soon have a foundry cluster. The work on the Belgaum Foundry Cluster (BFC) project started three years ago at an investment of close to Rs 25 crore, is nearing completion and is expected to be operational in August this year.
The project once completed will benefit 135 foundries and over 1,000 machine shops in and around Belgaum and hundreds of other units in the neighbouring towns of Hubli-Dharwad, Shimoga, Harihar and even Kolhapur, and Shinoli in Maharashtra, according to Manoj Kulkarni, chief executive officer, BFC.
The foundries from Belgaum are currently dependent on Bangalore and Pune for some of the high-end machining work. With the opening of this cluster they will make substantial savings in their production costs.
According to Kulkarni, foundry units at BFC are expected to produce 1.6 lakh tonnes of castings during the present fiscal, a growth of 60 per cent over 2007-08 and generate a combined revenue in excess of Rs 700 crore per annum, a growth of 75 per cent. The exports are expected to touch Rs 350 crore per annum, a growth of 700 per cent.
The foundry cluster is likely to generate employment to 12,000 persons, a growth of 50 per cent.
Belgaum, in north Karnataka is known for its foundry industry for decades. One third of the state's foundry units are located in six industrial estates of Belgaum. They produce 110,000 tonnes of castings per annum. However, the units were hit by the infrastructure bottlenecks and a lack of common facilities.
The project was sanctioned by the Union ministry of commerce under the Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS) in 2003 for Rs 24.78 crore. While, the Centre sanctioned Rs 18.58 crore, the Karnataka government put in another Rs 2.49 crore while the balance is contributed by the user industries.
The objective is to strengthen the existing infrastructure and to create additional infrastructure with a view to enhance efficiency, competitiveness, raise export capabilities and make the industry environment-friendly by reducing pollution.
Under this project, a 34,000 sq ft building has been constructed at Udyambag Industrial Estate, which houses common tool room, testing laboratory, training centre, modern communication and information centre and a library. A convention centre has also been established. A new vertical machining centre for making patterns, spectrometer for conducting metal analysis and coordinate measuring machine have been installed.
The BFC has acquired five acres land on the outskirts of the city to build the common effluent treatment plant (ETP). The work on which is nearing completion. The sand reclamation plant is the first of its kind in the country as it will help reclaim 10,000 tonnes of waste sand per month. A modern sand reclamation machine has been imported from England and is being installed presently.
The cluster will also have modern software for 3D modelling, simulation and ERP for foundries will be made available to foundries. The foundry cluster will not only help improve the quality standards of material produced here but also protect ecological balance and conserve natural resources apart from growing exports, Kulkarni said.
"Our vision is to make Belgaum Foundry industry a global sourcing hub for castings and machined components by the year 2010. Despite slowdown in manufacturing sector and rising prices of steel and metal scrap we anticipate foundry units will register a healthy growth of 15-20 per cent during the current financial year," he said.
As part of the project, nearly 23 kms of road is being rebuilt in Udyambag industrial estate.
Foundry units in and around Belgaum are serving the automobile industry, general engineering and agriculture sectors. Automobile majors like Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Ashok Leyland, TAFE, Caterpillar and engineering companies like Kiroskar Oil Engines Ltd, Alfa Laval, Simpsons are some of the companies sourcing castings from Belgaum. The Belgaum foundries also export to countries like the US, Germany, Belgium and West Asia.
The APMC police Thursday arrested two more youths, Imtiaz Dalayat (21) and Nadeem Syed (20), suspected to have links with Nasir Liyaquat Ali Patel, a terror suspect who was arrested by the special squad on Tuesday.
With the arrest of Imtiaz and Nadeem, residents of Malmaruti Extension here, the total number of terror suspects arrested by the Belgaum police has gone up to four.
Nadeem and Imtiaz were produced before the JMFC IV Court and remanded in police custody till June 2.
Five former MLAs are eyeing ministerial berths this time
People as well as workers of various political parties are eager to know whether Belgaum district will get two ministerial berths as in the previous Janata Dal (Secular)-BJP coalition Government.
Owing to coalition arithmetic and the obligation to ensure representation to all major caste groups, the district could get two Cabinet berths, one each for the BJP and the Janata Dal (S).
While Shashikant A. Naik was made Minister for Horticulture, Balachandra L. Jarkiholi was given the Social Welfare portfolio considered.Apprehensions
Under the present situation in which the BJP has reportedly promised to accommodate three independent MLAs in lieu of their support to form the Government, there are apprehensions whether the district comprising 18 Assembly seats and two parliamentary constituencies will continue to have two Ministers, or will have to be content with just one berth. The BJP has been able to get nine of the 18 seats in the district as against eight in the previous assembly. The BJP MLAs from the district are Laxman Sangappa Savadi (Athani); Bharamgouda Algouda Kage (Kagwad); Abhay Kumar Patil (Belgaum Dakshin); Metgud Virupakshi (Jagdish) Channappa (Bailhongal); Marihal Suresh Shivarudrappa (Kittur); Mamni Vishwanath Chandrashakher (Saundatti Yellamma); Aihole Duryodhan Mahalingappa (Raibag- SC), Sanjay B. Patil (Belgaum Uttar) and Prahalad Reman (Khanapur).
Those in the forefront for making ministerial claims are the two-time MLAs — Mr. Savadi, Mr. Kage, Mr. Patil, Mr. Metgud and Mr. Marihal.
While Mr.Patil belongs to the minority Jain community, the four others are Lingayats. Mr. Savadi, who lost the opportunity owing to caste arithmetic during the formation of the previous government, is leaving no stone unturned to make it to the Cabinet this time. Hundre, vicepresident of the Social Justice Forum, asking for the construction of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha to be stopped at the proposed site.
The government has been planning to construct Suvarna Vidhana Soudha on the premises of Vaccine Depot at Tilakwadi in Belgaum district after a committee consisting of the Legislative Assembly Speaker, Legislative Council Chairman and the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister visited the site and approved the proposal.
The proposed site is a thick forest that hosts several rare plants, reptiles and wild animals. Hundre filed a writ petition requesting the HC to stop the construction of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha at the proposed site.
This blog has been a forerunner in spreading awareness about saving the Vaccine Depot. Various posts were made to know about earlier posts read the following:
I am retreating a fact again that we are not against building of the Suvarna Soudha, we want it to be built in Belgaum but not in Vaccine Depot, Thats our only stand.
The Chennai based UniverCell Telecommunications is opening its branch in Belgaum at Shanbag chambers, Kirloskar Road Belgaum.
UniverCell having the first mover advantage has pioneered its way through the mobile industry.
- The first mobile retailer to provide Bill & warranty on every purchase
- The first mobile retailer to implement "Touch & Feel" concept
- Exchange offers
- Easy Installments-0% interest, quick loan approvals
- Knowledgeable staff-groomed in customer service and soft skills
- Best After Sales Service
- Quality Management process ISO 9000-2001 certified
- One stop shop for mobile needs
- Mobile e-shop, www.univercell.in
- Short code service
So the next time you plan to buy a mobile you know where you have to go first. The sad thing I cannot go, as I am on Reliance.
It is the end of May now and still this traffic signal awaits inauguration. The newly installed signals at Globe circle and RPD cross are still not working. Belgaumites thought that riding on roads would become a bit easier, but to their despair, still they await inauguration. Now that the new BJP govt is there in Belgaum and we have two BJP MLAs we should expect someone to inaugurate them.
Therefore, the next time you drive in Belgaum be careful to park correctly or be ready to shell a fine.
It is a win they were desperate for. But the victory in Karnataka is likely to bring some discomfort to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra.
The party will now have to be very careful about the stand it takes on the dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra over the Marathi-dominated border district of Belgaum. “Linguistc identity has, in recent times, become a dominant flavour of Maharashtra politics,” said political scientist B. Venkatesh Kumar. “With the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, one needs to look at the positioning of the Maharashtra BJP, especially when its ally, the Shiv Sena, is very vocal about Belgaum.”
The BJP has won seven of the 10 seats in Belgaum, even affecting the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, which has been fighting for Belgaum to be included in Maharashtra.
The Sena has been very aggressive about the Marathi-speaking population in Belgaum with party chief Bal Thackeray threatening in 2005 to attack Kannadigas in Maharashtra if a single Marathi-speaking person was harmed in Belgaum. Nearly half the population in Belgaum is Marathi-speaking. Despite this, the district was included in Karnataka.
Sena leader Subhash Desai said, “The Sena will try to pursue this issue. With the BJP in power there (Karnataka), we will appeal to them.”
Maharashtra BJP’s state general secretary Madhu Chavan said the party’s central leadership would try its best to evolve a solution. “As far as Maharashtra BJP is concerned we are with Shiv Sena and the people of Belgaum. If Marathi-speaking people in the area want to live in Maharashtra then their demand must be met.”
Kumar said the issue could create some tension between the allies. “It will require a lot of political maneuvering at a senior level on both sides,” he said.
To see detailed votes for each candidate click here
Belgaum Dakshin 12:28 ABHAY PATIL BJP Lead 10722
Belgaum Rural 12:38 SANJAY B PATIL BJP Lead 8299
|11:51||13 - Belgaum Rural, Karnataka||KINEKAR MANOHAR KALLAPPA (IND)||Leading By 8892 Votes|
|Belgaum Uttar, Karnataka||SHANKARGOUDA I PATIL (BJP)||Leading By 4542 Votes|
Congress candidate Sait is leading in north, he could be a surprise winner It was the most horrible moment in my life," said Smriti Irani, the famous TV star who was allegedly insulted by Belgaum police on Monday night.Speaking to the thisa website's newspaper from Mumbai on Tuesday, she termed the behaviour of police inhuman."They touched my body on the pretext of searching me," she added.Irani said that after the end of campaigning at Belgaum on Monday night, she was heading towards Goa when her vehicle was stopped by a constable at an unknown place near Belgaum. The constable asked her who she was and where she was going.Though she disclosed her identity, the constable got into the car and asked the driver to take the car to an obscure spot where five to six police officers were standing.The officers asked her to alight as they wanted to search the car, she said. The police officers then asked her to open the boot of the car empty her bag saying they wanted to search it. Horrified at the behaviour of the police officers, she asked them to call a woman police official so that she could search her bag. However, her pleas fell on deaf ears."I was terrified as I was surrounded by badly behaved policemen in an unknown place," she said.Jeetendra Kadam, president of BJP City District alleged that the police took the TV star to a police station and insulted her. Kadam alleged that the policemen were under the influence of alcohol.Police have however denied the charges and said that as election handbills were found in the car, she was asked to come to police station to give an explanation. Belgaum North 57% turnout
In Belgaum South & Rural 62% turnout.
No major incident of violence or booth capturing reported from the city.
There were many instances of voters being denied to vote as their name was not included in the voters list even tough they had a valid voters ID card.
Counting for the remaining ten assembly segments — Gokak, Arabhavi, Belgaum North, Belgaum South, Belgaum Rural, Kittur, Bailhongal, Soudatti-Yallamma, Ramdurg and Khanapur — will be taken up at Gogte Institute of Technology in Udyambag in Belgaum city on Sunday 25.
By this afternoon only 26% on average had voted.
The voter turnout is very poor all over the city. I had voted at 7 am in the morning and that time there was no rush, but I had expected the rush to build up later. But it seems the voters are in no mood to vote for anybody this time.
I will keep updated as and when I get updates.
News Link sent by Brahmanand Chipre
Most people in Belgaum want to remain with Karnataka and many of them are not even aware of Maharashtra's demand that Marathi-speaking parts of the district be transferred to it.
This is the finding of a pre-poll survey conducted by CNN-IBN, Deccan Herald and the Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). The two states have been fighting over Belgaum since 1956 when the district was made a part of Karnataka with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act.
Only 41 per cent of the total respondents seemed to have any knowledge about Maharashtra's demand for merging Marathi-speaking areas in Belgaum with Maharashtra—an indication perhaps that the linguistic divide has taken a backseat in Karnataka.
The pre-poll survey found that out of the 41 per cent respondents who knew about the Belgaum debate an overwhelming 58 per cent thought Maharashtra's demand for Belgaum was unjustified. Only 31 per cent felt otherwise.
Belgaum has been an issue in all elections but this time when it goes to polls in the third and final phase of voting on May 22 parties would know what its people want.
All that they know is that their parents get money when they go for canvassing
Child Labour Act and the model code of conduct do not say anything about it
Child welfare committee chairman says action can be taken in such cases
DISTURBING: Children of Harugeri of Raibag (SC) Assembly constituency who worked for a candidate of a national party during campaigning.
In what could be a disturbing development, children aged less than 14 are being either engaged or hired for campaigning by contestants fielded by national political parties or those contesting independently.
Interestingly, the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, which prohibits engaging children in certain employments and regulates the conditions of work of children in certain other employments, does not speak of children being engaged or employed as workers in electioneering.
However, when certain incidences were brought to the notice of Deputy Commissioner and Chairman of the Belgaum District Child Welfare Committee, M.E. Shivalingmurthy, here on Tuesday, he said action could be taken in such cases.
Children are openly campaigning in favour of contestant(s) in several Assembly constituencies of the district but none in the Department of Women and Child have bothered to take note of it, not even the Election Observers or Section Officers in the department.
Though Mr. Shivalingmurthy initially denied any such a practice in the district, he said action could be taken if it came to light when photographs pertaining to campaigning in Raibag (SC) and Ramdurg Assembly constituencies in the district were produced.
In Harugeri village of Ramdurg, a group of four children, apparently belonging to poor families, all aged less than 14 and who have just passed fifth and sixth standards in a local Kannada-medium school, were found canvassing for a candidate. They had identified themselves as workers of the political party by wearing the caps gifted to them recently. That apart, all the four boys said they were paid for the work — to go door-to-door and appeal to voters to vote for their candidate.
Sadashiv Gundappa, Kiran Ramappa Kamble and Balappa Pappakka Kamble told The Hindu that the party leaders had paid Rs. 70 and gave a cap to each of them. However, the money was handed over to their parents at the party election office opened in the village. Mallesh Dilip Kamble said he was paid Rs. 20 for the entire season to canvas for the candidate.
These boys said they were enjoying campaigning since they had holidays. However, they said they were not aware of anything called child labour. What they know is that their parents got some money when they campaigned for the candidate.
Children were seen actively participating in campaigning for an independent candidate in Belgaum North Assembly constituency.
Even the Model Code of Conduct of the Election Commission is silent on such issues.
The Mumbai-Karnataka region that's seen fierce border dispute for the last 50 years, votes in the third phase of polls on Thursday.
To See Video Click here
It’s been the war cry of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) in Belgaum for five decades - MES candidates like Manohar Kinekar have been winning local body and Assembly elections on just one issue that they'll fight to make Belgaum a part of Maharashtra.
MES candidate Manohar Kinekar said, “When the border issue is solved all other problems are solved too because we'll participate better in governance and we can solve the problem in better way.”
But this time the MES has to contend with its own rebels in 3 of 5 Assembly seats. After being denied tickets, leaders like Shivaji Sunthkar, have decided to stand independently.
Sunthkar said, “People are out on the streets saying their favourite candidate has been sidelined by the party and so they want me to fight as an independent.”
Its this in-fighting in MES that Congress and BJP are banking on. They are seeking votes on the development plank.
And 50 years after re-organisation of States, that's the election issue for the aam aadmi too.
The language issue is certainly an emotional one, but you can't live on it. Be it the Marathi manus or the Kannada manava, the basics of roti, kapda and makaan are more important.
And that's could well help parties other than the MES in gaining ground.
Source: http://in.rediff.com/news/2008/may/19kgovt.htm Submitted by Sheri Sundeep
In Belgaum, the linguistic divide takes a backseat
Karnataka and Maharashtra have been locked in a dispute over Belgaum since 1956 when the district was incorporated into Karnataka (the then Mysore state) with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act.
Belgaum features in the third and final phase of the Karnataka election, which will be held on May 22.
The run-up to the election was chaotic. In 2005, the Belgaum Municipal Corporation, which then had the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti in a majority, resolved to merge Belgaum with Maharashtra.
Following angry protests, which included Mayor Vijay More's face being blackened by Kannada activists, the then state government headed by H D Kumaraswamy stepped in and superseded the corporation.
Coverage: Battleground Karnataka
When the corporation was superseded, many people thought the decision would impact the assembly election.
The Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal-Secular-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government had then dubbed Belgaum Karnataka's second capital and even held a week-long special session of the Karnataka assembly in the city.
Belgaum's name was also proposed to be changed to Belagavi. However, this has been kept on hold by the Union government.
With four days left for the election, Belgaum seems quiet on the border issue. Some of the city's Maharashtrian and Kannadiga residents say that in this era of globalisation there is no point fighting each other on the basis of language.
The MES, which won just two of Belgaum's 18 assembly seats in the 2004 election, still has the border dispute as its main campaign issue. MES leaders say they will ensure that Belgaum is merged with Maharashtra.
An MES activist told rediff.com that there is a need to bring about awareness among the Marathi-speaking people in Belgaum district who comprise 75 per cent of the 564,000 population. They say November 1, which is celebrated as Kannada Rajyothsava Day (the day Karnataka was established from the old Mysore state), is observed as a black day in Belgaum by MES activists.
BJP way ahead of others: Exit poll
Although political parties like the MES may try to whip up emotions on the border dispute, Maharashrian residents say whether Belgaum belongs to Karnataka or Maharashtra, development of the district is what ultimately counts.
National parties like the BJP and Congress have steered clear of the border issue; their campaigns highlight development. Congress leader and chief ministerial aspirant Mallikarjuna Kharge says the border issue is dead and there is no point raking it up now.
'People are fed up with coalition govts'
The recent election to the Belgaum City Corporation was fought between two groups, instead of individual parties. The pro-Kannada-Urdu group won the election against the pro-Marathi group. The validity of the election has now been challenged before the Supreme Court on the ground that unfair practices were used.
The MES would win at least nine assembly seats from Belgaum in elections before 1999. However, the numbers touched a dismal two seats in the 2004 election.
In rural Belgaum, there is an acute shortage of water. The rate of unemployment too is high. Basic amenities like roads, schools and health centres are what Belgaum needs, not an issue that belongs to the history books.
Source: The Hindu
All major parties have fielded their nominees here
Two-time MLA Ramesh L. Kudachi is the Janata Dal (S) candidate
Sait is the first-ever Muslim to be fielded by the Congress in Belgaum (Belgaum North)
Belgaum: All eyes are on Belgaum North constituency, where all major parties have fielded their candidates.
But what makes it more interesting is the presence of MES rebel Ramesh Gangaram Pawale and Rashtriya Hindustan Sena candidate Vilas Ramachandra Pawar. The people of the constituency are equally curious about the prospects of Janata Dal (Secular ) candidate and two-time MLA Ramesh L. Kudachi, who quit the Congress after being denied the ticket.
Mr. Kudachi told The Hindu that he had no option but to quit as he had been sidelined in the Congress.
He joined the Janata Dal (S) and entered the poll fray to show that the Congress was “weak” without him in the party.
His presence has become a thorn in the flesh of Congress candidate Feroz Nooruddin Sait.
However, the realisation of the objective of Mr. Kudachi, who belongs to the Kurbar community, depends largely on the number of votes he would get from the Muslim community, which supported him in the 1999 and 2004 elections.
But, Mr. Kudachi has not lost hopes completely and feels that a section of Marathi-speaking voters would support him. Mr. Kudachi was the first-ever Kannada speaking candidate to defeat the MES in the erstwhile Belgaum City Assembly constituency.
Mr. Sait is the first-ever Muslim to be fielded by the Congress in Belgaum (Belgaum North).
The BJP is hoping to do well in Belgaum North.Weak candidate
Though its candidate and former chairman of Belgaum Urban Development Authority Shankargowda Patil is considered relatively weak when compared to others in the fray, party leaders say the situation is fast turning in his favour.
In addition to support from his own Lingayat community, the party expects the support of all Kannada organisations.
Though the former Mayor and MES candidate Vijay Pandurang More is regarded as a “good person” by all communities in the light of his work, his caste (SC) has turned out be an obstacle for him.
Many feel that all Marathas, who are in substantial numbers in the constituency and are traditional supporters of MES, may not support Mr. More.
But, he too is confident that these voters and a section of the Kannada and Urdu-speaking voters would support him.Pawale firm
Efforts of the MES central leadership have failed to convince Mr. Pawale to withdraw from the fray.
Also, Mr. More’s problems have only aggravated due to the presence of Mr. Pawar, who is also a Maratha.
In the last elections, Mr. Pawar contested on the BJP ticket and lost to Mr. Kudachi by a margin of 1,017 votes.
Interestingly, the Bahujan Samaj Party’s candidate, whose profile is much better than any other candidate in the fray, is also hopeful of doing well.
Addressing a huge election campaigning meeting at Beynon Smith C P Ed college ground here on Sunday , Rahul said that BJP do not have morality to speak anything about terrorism as every one knows what had happened in Kashmir when BJP led NDA government was in power in Centre. He also said that people of the nation have not forgotten the incident of freeing a Afghani terrorist by dropping him till Kandhahar accompaning him with the Union Home Minister Jaswant Singh. `Since this is the situtaion, what morality BJP have to speak against UPA government,' Rahul questioned.
Rahul called people to vote for Congress for the development and better future of the nation.
Rahul who explained the developmental works done when Congress was ruling the state appealed the people to elect Congress government for the better future of their children's life.
Rahul lauded former Chief Minister S M Krishna who had shared the dias with him over the developmental and pro-people works done during his tenure said that Karnataka was India's future when Krishna led Congress government was in rule.
Karnataka missed the track of development during the term of JD(S)-BJP government.
He termed the last coalition government as the opportunalistic and described the coalition government as an unscientific government.
Source:the New Indian Express
We do not seem to understand the logic of all political parties in this present election. All have been speaking about national issues. Congress says BJP does not have any morality to speak about terrorism and the BJP says vice versa.
Why does not any party speak what they would like to do for Belgaum (in this context when all had gathered in Belgaum) all say you vote for us, as we would be able to give you a stable govt. and do what with that stable govt. put pickles or make biryani. This is a local MLA election and we had thought in the election the local issues should have come up. Nevertheless, who cares? Kiske Baap jata hai?
We wanted to know what our elected representatives would do for us. Nobody said anything. Therefore, whom should we vote for a stable Govt? All the parties said the will give a stable govt. who will give even the Gods do not know.
What do you all think about this? Nobody spoke of airport expansion or textile hub or even the software park. We here just speak and forget it. This is what democracy is?
Share your thoughts…
Source: Biddu This story has been written by Biddu for this blog.
But for a few aberrations in the history of Indian elections, caste has been all the more dominate in deciding the prospects of political parties and contesting candidates. Those who value of caste and work out have always gained. This has been proved time and again, as elsewhere in the country and state, in Belgaum too.
With or without issues pertaining to development and progress, caste remains omnipotent in this election too. Ultimately, as the candidates fail to impress the electorate or elevate their voting-conscience above caste and religion based voting, they are back to same old game of consolidating the vote-banks on basis of caste and religion. The composition of caste, they know, would be ultimate in deciding their future at the hustings. That's why, a candidate told Biddu here on Wednesday, all political parties invariably look into the caste and sub-caste before announcing their candidature.
In the three assembly constituencies of Belgaum North, Belagum and Belgaum Rural, the future of the candidates in the fray is depends on how the individual caste group will vote. But, not candidate can afford to ignore the major caste such as Lingayats, Marathas, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Muslims and Jains, which are bound to play crucial role in these elections too.
According to one estimate obtained from a government department by Biddu, of the total electoral college constituting of 1,77,320 in BN the presence of lingayats is highest and account for 52,000 electorates, followed by the Marathas whose strength is 38,000. The Muslims for the third highest voter population with 40,000 followed by SCs-15,000, STs-11,000, Jain-8000, Bhrahim-4000, Kurbar-2000, Devang-3000, Maheswari(Marwari)-1000, Kankani-1000 and Others-2320.
Similarly, in Belgaum South, the composition shows that Marathas dominate the constituency with 50,000 voters followed by Jains, which account for 21,000. The lingayat constitute 16,000; Muslim, SC and Devang-15,000 each, ST-6000, Brahmin-10,000, Maheshwari-7000, Kurbar-5000, Konkani-6000, Savaji(Kshatriya)2000, Hanabar-1000 and Others-11,030. The total voters in the constituency are 1,800,30.
In Belgaum South having 1,87,025 voters, Maraths are in highest number, about 70,000. The lingayats form the second highest voter population followed by Muslims, about 6,000. The strength of voters belonging to other castes are SC-14,000; ST-13,500, Jain-7000, Brahmin-2000, Kurbar-4000, Hanabar-7,800, Devang-1,824, and Others-1901.
If these figures are any indication, the contesting candidates belonging to either of these castes or religious communities can very well guess about their prospects, even while pinning their hopes on some support from sympathetic individuals belonging to caste(s) other than their own.
Yesterday Mayawati of the BSP held a rally in the district stadium in the afternoon and Narendra Modi took a rally at the Sardar's Ground in the evening.
Today evening Rahul Gandhi will address a rally at CPEd. Ground. L K Advani will address one in Khanapur.
What they spoke was nothing new. Same, old wine in a new bottle.
However, one good thing is that we Belgaumites could see these stalwarts in real.
The last days of campaigning are here & all are trying their tricks.
I take this opportunity to ask all the readers of this blog "TO COME OUT & VOTE" Whom you vote are not my problem. Vote for a person who is deserveable.
Please click on the Candidate's Name to see the affidavits filed by him/her.
KUDACHI RAMESH LAXMAN
DR. NADAF RASULSAB YAMANAPPA
FEROZ NURUDDIN SAIT
SHANKARGOUDA I PATIL
PUSHPA S HUBALI
SHASHIKANT SHANKARRAO BALEKUNDRI
ATTAULLHA MOHAMMAD ALI TANEKHAN
ISMAIL MAGDUM MAGDUM GOUSMOHIUDDIN
BADAVANCHE LAXMAN BHARMA
BANDENAWAZ M SAYYED
MULLA IQBAL AHMED ABDUL KHADAR
RAMESH GANGARAM PAWALE
VIJAY PANDURANG MORE
12 - Belgaum Dakshin
CHANNAHOSUR SIDRAI GANGAPPA
PATIL SAMBHAJI LAXMAN
PRAMOD BALASAHEB PATIL
PRAKASH RAMCHANDRA SHIROLKAR
MARUTI DAULATRAO SHINDE
LODHI AIJAZ AHAMED
KIRAN KRISHNARAO SAYANAK
DALVI DEEPAK ARJUNRAO
MAHESH MANOHAR LAD
HULABATTE RAJAN SHANTINATH
MALAGI SHIVAPUTRAPPA CHANNABASAPPA
RUKMINI GANGANNA GOWDA
SANJAY B PATIL
AKKI SHOBHA MALLAPPA
KOLLANATTI BHIMAPPA BALAPPA
KINEKAR MANOHAR KALLAPPA
BALU RAMLING ANAGOLKAR
SHIVAJI KEDHARI SUNTAKAR
A man was arrested and "objectionable material" including clippings of "Kashmir terrorism" and "9/11 attack in the US" recovered from his possession here, police today said.
"He was taken into custody from his house in Mahanteshnagar here last evening on suspicion that he intended to carry out criminal acts," a police official said.
Police recovered "illegal and objectionable" CD, laptop, mobile sets and books from 32-year-old Liyakhatali Abdulgani Sayeed, who was earlier working in a security agency in London.
Sayeed who hails from the city, had returned on March 18 this year after losing his job. Police said his wife and two children are British citizens.
A case has been registered and a police team has been formed under a Deputy Commissioner of Police to conduct further investigation, the official added. The Trichy based Vasan Eye care has niche service business in areas of Eye Care, Retail, Multispecialty Hospital, and Diagnostic Centre. Maintain leadership position in each niche areas; partner with ‘best in class’ leaders and maintain traditional business values.
It is preparing to start its Belgaum Operations at Samadevi Galli, Next to City Union Bank
This is the first chain of health care centers being opened in the city. Many could follow suit. For Belgaumites it could be just another place to get your eyes checked and get them treated, if need be.
Nanawadi, Tilakwadi,RC Nagar, Vadgaon, Angol, hindwadi, Peeranwadi,Mazgaon and other adjoining areas are being covered in the Swadhay Vidya Mandir.
Shahpur, SPM road and adjoining areas are covered in the Herwadkar School.
There are various counters according to areas, so you check you area and then go to that counter. Fill a form (very small with your name, Date of birth, your serial no).
The most important is Serial no. in the voters list. There are people outside the halls to let you know your serial no. But I would rather suggest you all to see my post on voters list on this very blog, search your name and just go there, it becomes very easy. Most people spent time in searching for their names in the voters list, hence this suggestion and it works as I did the same thing and I got my voter card in 15 mins.
Any visitor to Belgaum will find to his utter shock and dismay that there are absolutely no signs of elections at all in Belgaum city and several districts around.
On the face of it, it looks as if there is no interest at all in electing nearly 3 legislators 8 days from now. If there are no posters, buntings and banners and propaganda vehicles with blaring loud speakers, it is thanks largely to the Election Commission.
The big brother is so fearsome this time around that all political parties and candidates have meekly gone sub-surface for fear of violating the code that the commission has imposed. So much so, the former prime minister complained the other day that even to take a leak, he and others involved in the election process would have to seek prior permission!
That might be an exaggeration by a whole mile but the fact is that the Election Commission has ensured that this election in Karnataka is, certainly in a physical sense, very clean. It has been so sanitised that the usual indicators one seeks in the run-up to polling are completely missing.
Candidates, who now have to trudge from one door to another instead of raising the decibel level and holding meetings, are as clueless as anyone else on how things are shaping up. So are the political parties and certainly pundits.
The election buzz is missing, not just from the roads of Belgaum, but from the local papers too. Only 8 days more for Belgaum to go to polls, but it seems like elections is just another news for an otherwise busy city.
People tried other ways to woe the voters, in the same act Abhay Patil who had given a meal saying it was a wedding feast was arrested and then later released on bail.
With inputs from http://economictimes.indiatimes.com
Yes your blog is now on world class platform and now is also a .com.
Now worries of typing that belgaumblog.blogspot.com
http://belgaumblog.com will land you with all the information you needed to know about Belgaum. I have just upgraded to the new platform and it might take a few more days for me setup the whole thing in a proper manner. Some new features and pages will also be there.
The old belgaumblog.blogspot.com will continue to be as it is with fresh updates.
So go reading and remember you belgaumblog is now just belgaumblog.com Deepak Dalvi the rebel MES candidate yesterday withdrew from the race and now will support the official candidate of the MES, Kiran Saynak.
By doing this the marathi vote that would have been divided can possibly go into Kiran Saynak's favour. But still the fight in South will be between, Sambhaji Patil(INC), Abhay Patil (BJP) & now Kiran Sayank (MES).
ATTAULLHA MOHAMMAD ALI TANEKHAN Age 35 youngest in north
DALVI DEEPAK ARJUNRAO age 65 eldest in southMAHESH MANOHAR LAD age 35 youngest in south
KOLLANATTI BHIMAPPA BALAPPA age 82 eldest in ruralRAJGOLI TOUSIF age 28 youngest in rural
Only 2 Women in rural & 1 in north have filed in their candidature.
None of the national parties have field in females(These parties are going to pass the womens reservation bill)
For the complete list of candidates, their age, address Click Here. Understanding the Political Game:
From now on I will try and update about the various aspects that will effect the result of the election. North will be the most fierce battle of all. Will elaborate on each constitunecy later. Here's the first post in that regard.
Source: The New Indian Express
FIRST time in the five-decade-old history of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) the pro-Maharashtrian organization is facing tough time with rebels contesting in four out of five Assembly constituencies in Belgaum district.
Six activists have contested as rebel against the official candidate in Khanapur constituency alone. Ramesh Pavale and Badavannache have contested against official candidate former mayor Vijay More in Belgaum North, former mayor Shivaji Sunthakar is contesting against former MES MLA Manohar Kinekar in Belgaum Rural, Deepak Dalavi is contesting against Kiran Sainak in Belgaum South and Muralidhar Patil, Vaishali Patil, Aravind Patil, Mahadev Maragale, Mugutsab Dharwadi and D M Gurav contested against former MES MLA Digambar Patil in Khanapur.
Apart from this MES is also facing threat from Shiva Sena as its district chief Prakash Shirolkar is contesting from Belgaum South and Khemanna Patil in Khanapur. Meanwhile, MES is being divided in different groups as its former Uchagoan MLA B I Patil openly declared his support to Sunthakar in rural segment and advised the MES activists to work for his victory.
Vijay More faced a tough time during his campaign too. As may as 18 galli units opposed his candidature and asked him to stay back from the election in the interest of the Marathi speaking population in the border areas. The pro-Maharashtrians opposed More’s candidature as he is not a Marathi speaking person and is a new entrant into the organisation.
But MES, defending its decision, pointed out that Marathi speaking population in Belgaum North was reduced to minority after delimitation. Presence of More would attract even non-Marathi votes, particularly dalits and backward community people, MES felt
Voting on 22nd May 2008
Three different MOCK POLLS for all the 3 Belgaum constituencies is there on the blog home page. Kindly vote for your candidate from your constituency. Also forward the blog link to your friends so that they could also vote in th Mock Polls.
List of Candidates:
Belgaum North: 1.Shankargouda Patil (BJP) 2. Vilas Pawar (Rashtriya Hindu Sena), 3.Laxman Badvanche (Independent) 4. Ramesh L. Kudachi (JD-S), 5.Bandenavaz Sayeed (Independent) 6. Vijay More (MES) 7. Firoz Sait (INC), 8.Pushpa Hubli (JDU), 9.Iqbal A Mulla (Independent), 10.Attaulla Tanekhan (Independent) 11.Ramesh Pawale (Independent),12.Rassulasab Nadaf(BSP), 13.Ismail Moinuddin(Independent) 14.Sashikant Balekundri(SP).
Belgaum South: 1.Abhay Kumar Patil(BJP), 2. Chennahosur S Gangappa (BSP), 3. Sambhaji Patil (INC), 4. Pramod Balasaheb Patil (JDS), 5. Prakash R Shirolkar (Shivsena) 6.Maruti D Shinde (SP), 7.Lodhi Ejiaz Mehmood (Muslim League), 8.Kiran K Sayanak (MES), 9.Deepak A Dalvi(Independent), 10.Parshram B Patil(Independent), 11.Mahesh M Lad (Independent), 12.Hulbatte Rajan Shantinath(Independent).
Belgaum Rural: 1.Shivputrappa Malgi (INC), 2.Rukmani Gouda (JDS), 3.Sanjay Patil (BJP), 4.Malshetyappa Sahukar(BSP), 5. Shobha Akki(Rashtriya Hindu sena), 6.Bhimappa Kolyannati (Lok Jan Shakti),7.Taufiq Rajgoli (Muslim League),8.Manohar Kinekar (MES),9.Balu R Angolkar(Independent),10.Shivaji Sunthkar(Independent). Mrs.Anupama Joshi who took part in the reality show of ETV Marathi is now amongst the finalists.
Another Belgaum Star for you.
Thanedar, 51, is chief executive of Chemir Analytical Services Inc., a Maryland Heights company that provides chemical testing and analysis services. He bought the company in 1999 for about $75,000 when it had only two employees and annual revenue of about $150,000. Today, Chemir Analytical employs about 120 people and projects revenue of about $16 million this year.
History: Founded in 1959, Chemir was purchased in 1990 by Dr. Shri Thanedar or who developed it into an independent testing laboratory. Having since developed a national reputation as experts in deformulation, Chemir scientists have helped over 6,000 clients solve challenging industrial problems with chemical analysis, consulting and litigation support. Distinction: Chemir is committed to the betterment of the St. Louis community. It has been an annual sponsor of the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation, is a long-time supporter of the Salvation Army and, this year, through an internal fund-raising drive, Chemir and its employees, donated almost $2,000 to emergency hurricane relief. It also sponsors various activities and athletics at several local school districts.
About Shrinivas Thanedar: Dr.Thanedar has never forgotten the poverty he endured while growing up in India. Those memories, he said, propelled him to become a successful entrepreneur in America.
Thanedar grew up in Belgaum, a small town in southern India, the firstborn in a family with six children. "We were very, very poor. We struggled a lot."
Thanedar's parents encouraged him to study hard and made sure he enrolled in India's public elementary school, high school and universities -- where he earned a bachelor's and a master's in chemistry.
He scored a meagre 55% marks in his SSLC. He had got a job at the age of 18 itslef in the state bank of India in Bijapur. He wanted to do his MSc. but the princiapl of the Dharwad did not allow him to do so. He had to go upto the Vice Chancellor for the same and atlast he got the permission. But the bank denied him leave for his exams for 15 days and he dedcided to leave from Bijapur and came to Dharwad for his exams. He slept for only one hour for 8 days and finished his studies. Even before his exams got over he got to know that he had been fired out of his job from the bank.
But the pains he took paid off, he got a first class in M.Sc and he got an intyerview call from the Bhaba Atomic research centre Mumbai. On the way to the interview he fell in dicth and all his clothes were dirty. He went to the interview in the same way and as a cartoon he gave his interview and got selcted. All his relatives and frineds said, see this mad man; he his leaving his bank job for this hardship.
He had to finish his M.Sc but the first year done in Dharwad was not to be counted in BARC. SO he did the 2 years of M.Sc without anybodys knoweldge as his Principal there Mr.Soman did not give him permission.
After finishing his MSc he applied for higher studies in America. But Mr.Soman denied to sign on his passport. The American consulate denied him visa for 6 times, he got the visa when Mrs.Virginia from the consulate had been on leave and thus he stood on the soil of America.
Thanedar came to the United States in 1979 to study for a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Akron in Ohio. He also did post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan before coming to St. Louis in 1984, to take a job as a researcher at the former Petrolite Corp. in Webster Groves.
But he wanted to work for himself and not for others. He strived hard to buy the loss making J Chemir company. Atlast he bought it and took it out of loss and now has similar 6 other companies which were making loss and now are making huge profits.
He says “I am not in th Business, I am on the Business.”
Thanedar said his late mother, Sulochana Thanedar, was his greatest inspiration and pushed him to use education as a means to escape the brutal life of poverty. "She taught me how to deal with problems." Thanedar said he considered coming to the United States as the biggest opportunity he ever got to better his life. He wasn't quite sure how he would achieve that goal, but he said he had big dreams and was determined to start his own business. "Because I had suffered so much (in India), I always said to myself that one day I will be very successful." The opportunity for Thanedar arose in 1990 when Clara Craver, a scientist and founder of what was then known as Chemir/Polytech Laboratories Inc., offered to sell him the company for $75,000. He financed the acquisition by taking a loan from a local bank. Since 1990, Chemir has grown tremendously, mainly by acquisitions that Thanedar engineered. The company's latest purchase was 2004 when the company bought PRA Laboratories of Ypsilanti, Mich., which provided research and development services to the paints and coatings industry. Bill Chionio, president of Business Owners International, a local business consulting organization, said one of Thanedar's biggest strengths as an entrepreneur is his ability to learn new things quickly and his willingness to delegate authority to his managers. "I consider him one of the finest business people I've ever met, but he has always remained humble. When one has money, when one has power, they have a way of inflating their egos. Shri has never done that." Thanedar lives in Ladue with his sons, Neil and Samir, and his wife, Shashi.
Source: Deccan Herald
Ever since the reorganisation of Indian states in 1956, Karnataka's border dispute with Maharashtra over parts of Belgaum district, has been rearing its head at regular frequency. How do voters in the state respond to this issue?
Respondents to a survey were asked if they had heard about the dispute. Those who replied in the affirmative were further asked whether the demand to merge the areas claimed to be Marathi-speaking with Maharashtra was in any way justified or was unjustified. Across the state, less than half the respondents had heard about the border dispute with Maharashtra. The level of awareness about this dispute was expectedly much higher in the Mumbai-Karnataka region. Respondents in the Coastal Karnataka region too were more aware of the existence of a border row. In the Hyderabad-Karnataka region there was greater awareness of the issue as compared to those in Central Karnataka, Southern Karnataka and Bangalore. The survey was conducted in six of the 18 constituencies in Belgaum district. Not surprisingly, the level of awareness about the border dispute was much higher in Belgaum district with nearly two-thirds of the respondents claiming to be aware of the issue.
It was noted that more than two-thirds of those who took a stand on the issue felt that it was unjustified to demand for the merger of what is termed as the Marathi-speaking regions with Maharashtra Among those who said that the demand was not correct, an overwhelmingly large percentage of them said that the demand was totally unjustified. It is important to record that in the Belgaum district too, nearly 60 per cent of those who took a stand on the issue said that the demand was unjustified. Here too, a significantly large proportion opined that merging the so-called Marathi regions with Maharashtra was unjustified.
Congress has fielded Feroz Sait Khimjibhai
Ramesh Kudachi is JD(S) candidate
MES, which is facing the problem of rebel candidates, is trying to win back the seat
The electoral battle lines have become clear in Belgaum North constituency with the Congress naming Feroz Sait Khimjibhai as its candidate on Friday.
There is jubilation among the Muslim community members in the constituency as the Congress has conceded their demand. The Congress has considered the candidature of a Muslim leader for the first time from the constituency which was called Belgaum City before delimitation. However, this decision has cost the party dearly, as the two-time MLA Ramesh L. Kudachi quit the Congress and is in the fray as the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate.
Muslims in general and the Minority Cell of the Belgaum District Congress Committee have been demanding the party ticket to a Muslim candidate. They argued that Muslims had been traditionally supporting the Congress but the party had never done “justice” to the community or its leaders.
The contest is likely to be fierce in the constituency as there are a large number of Muslims in the segment and the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) is trying to win back the seat which it had lost in 1999 and 2004. The MES has fielded the former mayor Vijay Pandurang More for the constituency.
Mr. Kudachi, who belongs to Kuruba community, which has a sizeable presence in the constituency, had defeated the MES candidates in the last two elections with the support of Kannada-speaking electorate and a large section of Muslim voters. He is, however, confident that his “vote bank” is intact.
Senior leader of the MES Deepak Dalvi has filed his nomination papers as a rebel to “teach a lesson” to the samithi’s leader Kiran Thakur. Problems in the MES have further compounded with Ramesh Paule, a follower of Mr. Dalvi, filing his nomination papers on Saturday.
Though none of the MES candidates in the previous elections enjoyed any sympathy of Kannada-speaking voters, Mr. More, who belongs to the Scheduled Castes, is popular among all sections of society. People have seen him as a social worker who is available to the common man round the clock.
The Bharatitya Janata Party’s bet with the former Chairman of Belgaum Urban Development Authority Shankargouda Patil, a Lingayat, is not being taken well within the party itself. The only criterion for his candidature is stated to be his close association with the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
Though the Shiv Sena has fielded the former corporator Prakash Shirolkar, who recently raised the banner of revolt against the MES, his presence in the fray is likely to affect the prospects of the MES. However, the MES is trying to convince rebels to withdraw from the fray to avoid a split in the Marathi votes. Ekikaran Samiti) has filed in papers of R Pawale as their candidate for the Belgaum North. The MES had officially declared Vijay More as its candidate from North. In my earlier post the report of attacking the Kiran Thakur by the same group was also published.
MES appears to have gone by ‘good image’ of More
More was attacked by Kanada activists in 2005 in Bangalore
The decision of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) to field the former Mayor of Belgaum Vijay Pandurang More in Belgaum North Assembly Constituency for the May 22 elections has sparked angry protests against its leadership.
A group of MES workers, believed to be supporters of senior MES leader Deepak Dalvi, on Friday morning threw stones at the house of Kiran Thakur, who is a senior MES leader and editor of popular Marathi daily newspaper Tarun Bharat.
Miscreants threw stones at Lokmanya Credit Co-operative Society in Bhagyanagar locality. Mr. Thakur is the founder-director of the society. Sources in the MES told The Hindu that the Dalvi camp was given a raw deal by MES leadership and rejected the claim of Mr. Dalvi to contest from Belgaum North.
It may be recalled here that Mr. Dalvi was arrested by the police in connection with violence against Kannada workers and was in Hindalga Jail for more than two months.
He had lost the elections in 1989 and 2004 as an independent.
But, the MES seems to have gone by the “good image” of Mr. More not only among the Marathi-speaking people but also among the Kannada-speaking and other lingustic communities cutting across religious and caste barriers.
Mr. More, who was elected as Mayor in 2005 when the post was reserved for Scheduled Caste, had faced the wrath of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike following a controversial resolution on “boundary dispute” between Karnataka and Maharashtra on the question of Belgaum and other areas.
The vedike activists had attacked Mr. More, the former mayor Shivaji Sunthakar and former MLA B.I. Patil near Vidhana Soudha and daubed their faces with black paint on November 11, 2005. Senior Congress leader and former MP Prabhakar B. Kore, who belongs to the dominant Lingayat community, is “seriously” considering saying “goodbye” to active politics to devote his time to “social service,” thanks to Congress’s denial of party ticket to him.
Mr. Kore’s decision comes even as State Janata Dal (Secular) vice-president Umesh V. Katti claimed on Wednesday that the former was about to join his party.
Mr. Koreappears to be not just upset but “hurt” after allegedly getting a raw deal at the hands of party leadership.
He was in New Delhi for a few days recently and did everything possible to get party ticket to contest from Chikkodi-Sadalga. But, the party favoured his arch rival Prakash B. Hukkeri. Mr. Hukkeri filed his nomination papers as Congress candidate on Wednesday.
Mr. Kore was keen to contest from Chikkodi-Sadalga in the light of the constituency being left open for “General” category. Hitherto, Chikkodi was reserved for Scheduled Castes. Following redrawing of areas under the latest delimitation exercise, areas of Chikkodi and Sadalga have been merged to form new Chikkodi-Sadalga constituency.
In a brief chat with The Hindu here on Wednesday, Mr. Kore said he was disgusted with the present order of politics. When his attention was drawn to the claims of Mr. Katti and reports in the media, he said: “I want to quit politics, leave alone joining the Janata Dal (Secular), the BJP or any other party.”
Kudachi defeated MES candidates in 1999 and 2004
He has joined JD(S) and is contesting in the same segment
Even as some tend to point figures at senior Congress leader and former Minister A.B. Patil for the Congress having denied ticket to two-time MLA Ramesh L. Kudachi to contest from Belgaum North, there is none to unravel the hidden faces behind the development.
Sources close to Mr. Kudachi told The Hindu here on Wednesday that a senior leader in the All India Congress Committee (AICC) from Maharashtra had deliberately denied ticket to the former to help the MES in Belgaum North. The sources said that the AICC leader had personally told Mr. Kudachi not to insist on ticket this time.
The MES, which was defeated twice by Mr. Kudachi in the 1999 and 2004 Assembly elections, is trying hard to re-capture its lost bastion. But, it would have been difficult for the MES to have its candidate elected as long as Mr. Kudachi continued to contest as Congress candidate. Therefore, the MES was keen to see that Mr. Kudachi did not get party ticket and therefore, took the help of the AICC leader from Maharashtra.
Mr. Kudachi, who quit the Congress after being denied ticket and joined the Janata Dal(S) on Wednesday, is all set to contest from Belgaum North as the latter’s candidate. He took the decision not in a haste but after being convinced that there was no justice in the Congress, which was not prepared to honour his services and contribution. He said it was under his leadership that the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi was shown the door for the first time in the 1999 Assembly elections and again in 2004. This was history in its own right as Belgaum city had been an impregnable fortress of the MES or the Marathi-speaking community since the 1957 elections.
He was also confident of being elected for the third time, which meant a precious seat for Congress which is hoping to form the government on its own in the State. But the leaders in the party were not prepared to do justice to his services, he alleged.
He, however, also maintained that the AICC leader from Maharashtra was fully responsible for denying him ticket only to please the MES. But in the process he [AICC leader] did not realise that the Congress could lose one precious seat, he said.
Belgaum South: Abhay Kumar Patil
Belgaum Rural: Sanjay Patil (head Gomatesh Vidyapeeth)
Still major candidates have to file in the papers and will do so in last 3 days. Source: The Hindu
Beleaguered by the growing rebellion over refusal of ticket to aspirants, the Congress was served another jolt by its two-time MLA Ramesh L. Kudachi on Wednesday.
Mr. Kudachi, who was denied ticket to contest from Belgaum North, quit the Congress and joined the Janata Dal(S) today. The Janata Dal(S) lost no moment to project him as its official candidate from Belgaum North. The Janata Dal(S) will shortly organise a party workers meeting to admit “hundreds of Congress workers loyal to Mr. Kudachi”.
The decision was announced at a crowded press conference addressed by the vice-president of the State Janata Dal(S) and former Minister, Umesh V. Katti, and district unit president Ashok Pujari. Along with Mr. Kudachi, Dalit youth leader Mallesh Chougale also joined the party.
Mr. Kudachi, who quit Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) and contested as a Congress candidate in the 1999 Assembly elections, created history by winning against the MES from the erstwhile Belgaum City then. With his election was broken the electoral hegemony of the MES, the pro-Maharashtra outfit surviving on the single-point issue of “boundary dispute” (demanding transfer of Belgaum, Nippani, Khanapur, Bidar, Karwar and other boundary areas to Maharashtra for over five decades).
He was again elected in the 2004 elections. Earlier, he had served as Mayor of the Belgaum City Corporation when he was an active leader in the MES.
Asked about the reasons for his decision to quit the Congress, he said a section of the top leaders of the party ensured that he did not get ticket much against the party’s guidelines on allotment of ticket.
The party had decided to give ticket to all its members of the previous Assembly, while it could consider for alternative candidates in constituencies whose constitution, after delimitation, had been affected by more than 50 per cent. But the party leaders showed disregard to this guideline and refused him the ticket even when 85 per cent of the areas in the erstwhile Belgaum City constituency have remained “intact” in the new Belgaum North Assembly constituency.