In Karnataka’s Belagavi district, as soon as the influence of one clan starts to wade off, the other clan starts its climb. Meet the Jarkiholis, the Jolles, Kattis, and other such political clans that rule Belagavi.
Karnataka Vidhan Soudha |Photo Credit: BCCL
Even as Karnataka is polling today to elect its new Assembly, the border district Belgaum (officially known as Belagavi) has been a host to clan politics all throughout its political scene. While Belagavi has also managed to secure a position in the much awaited smart list due to its unique planning proposal, the district has time and again been witness to several political families ruling the area. As soon as the influence of one clan starts to wade off, the other clan starts for a climb.
Laxmanrao Jarkiholi, a successful businessman, was friends with all parties. Three of the five scions of his clan are legislators. Ramesh Jarkiholi, the eldest, currently holds the portfolio of Small Scale Industries Minister and is an MLA from Gokak. Satish Jarkiholi, a known Siddaramaiah loyalist, has completed two terms in the Upper House. Since 2008, he held the Yemakanamaradi seat. He began with JD(S) but switched to Congress along with Siddaramaiah.
Balachandra Jarkiholi has held the Arabhavi seat from 2004 after he defeated former veteran Congress leader VS Koujalagi. He switched from the JD(S) to the BJP in 2008. Bhimshi Jarkiholi contested against his brother with a BJP ticket in Gokak and lost and has not been involved in active politics of late. Lakhan Jarkiholi, the youngest brother, though was rumoured to join BJP were dismissed later.
The Katti clan runs two sugar factories in the district, one of them a cooperative and are aligned with the BJP. Six-time MLA Umesh Katti is the head of the family. He joined the BJP after he lost by a margin of 420 votes on a Congress ticket. While Umesh is a BJP MLA from Hukkeri, his younger brother Ramesh Katti, of the BJP again, is seeking re-election from Chikkodi.
While Shashikala Annasaheb Jolle created history in the 2013 Assembly election in Karnataka, by becoming the first female MLA of Nippani, husband Annasaheb Jolle’s is fighting from Chikkodi Sadalga on a BJP ticket.
Ashok Pattan, a second generation MLA, is also the third MLA from his house. Ashok represents Ramdurg constituency, the same constituency that his father, Mahadevappa Pattan, an independent candidate, stood up from.
Congress leader Prakash Hukkeri, currently Chikkodi Sadalga constituency’s MP, has been a two-time MLA from the same seat. He later, in 2014, paved way for his son Ganesh to contest from a Congress ticket from the MLA seat.