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Experienced politician facing rookie in Bidar constituency

In the 2018 Lok Sabha elections, a fierce struggle is expected in Bidar between veteran Bhagawant Khuba (57) and rookie Sagar Khandre (26). Khuba is a two-term MP from Bidar and the Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers. He beat incumbent Siddaramaiah cabinet minister Eshwar Khandre in the 2019 elections by a significant margin, as well as the late Dharam Singh, a powerful member of the Congress and former chief minister, in 2014.

Khuba might be angered not just by the Congress’s fierce battle but also by the danger posed to him by members of his own party. It is well known that Aurad MLA and former minister Prabhu Chauhan opposed the BJP’s choice of Khuba. Additionally, Khuba and Sharanu Salgar, the MLA from Basavakalyan, have publicly argued on many occasions.

Due to health issues, Chauhan has been in Mumbai for the last two months and is not taking part in the electoral activities. Additionally, BJP officials claim that Salgar is not campaigning. The Marathas’ choice to field a member of their community as an independent from Bidar is another element that may have an impact on Khuba’s triumph. The community, which has always backed the BJP, put Dr. Dinkar More of Bidar forward. With 1.45 lakh electors, the Maratha population is dispersed over the Aland, Bhalki, Aurad, and Basavakalyan Assembly constituencies. The Marathas believe that the group has been ignored by both the Congress and the BJP.

In Bidar, the Modi wave is still quite strong. This is the only reason Khuba will win the elections, according to a political analyst. Even for Sagar Khandre, the youngest contender vying for Karnataka’s top spot this year, things are not going well in the meantime. Sagar has never before joined the race, despite having supported his father, Eshwar Khandre, in earlier elections.

For many years, the Khandre family has been involved in political politics. Bhimanna Khandre, Sagar’s grandpa, was a former minister. Eshwar Khandre, Sagar’s father, is the minister for forests and environment in the Siddaramaiah cabinet. He was formerly the secretary general of Akhila Bharath Veerashaiva Mahasabha and the working president of the KPCC. While Minister Rahim Khan is aggressively campaigning for Sagar, former Bidar candidate and minister Rajashekhar Patil Humnabad is not actively involved in the campaign.

Muslims, who accounted for 3.7 lakh voting, have insisted that the Congress nominate a member of their group for the position. However, it remains to be seen how the Muslim community would vote in light of the Congress fielding a Veerashaiva-Lingayat.

The late Ramachandra Veerappa was elected seven times (two times on a Congress ticket and five times from the BJP), as well as four times for the Congress, three times for Shankar Dev, and twice for Narasingh Rao Suryavanshi. The seat was reserved for candidates from Scheduled Castes until 2009. Dharam Singh was victorious in 2009 after delimitation, followed by Khuba in 2014 and 2019.

Sagar is from the Veerashiva-Lingayat group, as is Khuba. The community in Bidar is comprised of around three lakh voters. There are around 2.7 lakh people in SC (Right) and 1.1 lakh people in SC (Left). About 1.6 lakh people vote in ST Koli and Kabbaliga.

Basavakalyan, Humnabad, Bidar-South, Bidar, Bhalki, and Aurad Assembly seats in Bidar district, as well as Chincholi and Aland in Kalaburagi district, make up the Bidar Lok Sabha constituency. In the 2023 Assembly elections, the Congress candidates prevailed in three of the seats, while the BJP won five of them.

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