All in the family: Karnataka polls show continued hold of dynasties

The just concluded Karnataka Assembly elections saw some interesting family battles.

Brothers taking electoral revenge against each other; a father and son winning from different parties; three brothers contesting and only one winning; a sister-in-law pitted against a brother-in-law; a sitting BJP MP seeing his son elected on Congress ticket… The polls almost seemed like an extended family affair.

It’s all relative

Belagavi district, which after Bengaluru has the most number of seats, saw the dominance of the Jarkiholi brothers. Ramesh Jarkiholi, on a BJP ticket, won from the Gokak constituency and his brother Satish, working president of the Congress, bagged the Yemkanmardi seat.

The third brother Balachandra, chairman of the Karnataka Milk Federation, was returned from Arabhavi. Another from the family, Lakhan, is already an independent MLC.

BJP supporters gather at a roadshow ahead of the Assembly elections in Bengaluru
| Photo Credit: PTI/File photo

The Janata Dal (S), the regional party of former Prime Minister HD Devegowda, fielded three family members — Devegowda’s sons HD Kumaraswamy (HDK) and HR Revanna, and grandson Nikhil.

While HDK won from the Channapatna seat, the latter bagged Holenarsipura. However HDK’s son, Nikhil, who contested from the family bastion Ramanagara — held by his mother Anitha in the outgoing Assembly — lost by a huge margin.

The other prominent political family in Karnataka are the Reddys.

While four of its family members were in the fray, only Gali Janardhana Reddy won, from Gangavati on the ticket of his outfit — the Kalyana Rajya Pragati Party (KRPP). His brother Gali Somashekar Reddy and wife Aruna Lakshmi faced off in Bellary on BJP and KRPP tickets, respectively. But that fight only helped Nara Bharath Reddy of the Congress.

Former Prime Minister HD Devegowda (right) with his sons HD Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna

Former Prime Minister HD Devegowda (right) with his sons HD Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna
| Photo Credit: SRIRAM MA

The other brother, G Karunakara Reddy, who contested on a BJP ticket in Harapanahalli lost to independent candidate MP Latha Mallikarjun, daughter of erstwhile Janata Parivar leader MP Prakash.

Father and daughter duo — Ramlinga Reddy and Soumya Reddy — both contested on Congress tickets. While the father won from BTM layout in Bengaluru, Soumya lost in the neighboring Jayanagar constituency by a mere 16 votes.

The other father-daughter duo was former Union Minister KH Muniyappa and Roopkala Sashidhar. Both won on Congress tickets from Devanahalli (SC) and Kolar Gold Field (SC), respectively.

The father-son duo of 91-year-old Shamnur Shivashankarappa and his son SS Mallikarjun, both romped home on Congress tickets. While the former won in Davangere South, Mallikarjun was elected from Davangere North.

The other father-son combo was M Krishnappa and Priya Krishna — both won from Vijayanagar and Govindraj Nagar constituencies, respectively, on Congress tickets.

Gali Janardhan Reddy at a massive procession before filing his nomination papers at Gangavathi in Koppal district

Gali Janardhan Reddy at a massive procession before filing his nomination papers at Gangavathi in Koppal district

Interestingly, BJP MP BN Bache Gowda got his son Sharath Kumar Bachegowda a Congress ticket to contest the elections. He went on win from the Hoskote constituency.

Uncle-nephew combo was quite a failure this time as B Sriramulu and nephew TH Suresh Babu both lost in Bellary and Kampli constituencies.

The Bangarappa brothers — sons of former CM S Bangarappa — Kumar (BJP) and Madhu (Congress) fought each other in Sorab, Shivamogga district, where Madhu emerged victorious.

Next generation

The election also saw sons of many veterans carry forward the legacy.

Avinash Jadhav, son of MP Umesh Jadhav, won on a BJP ticket from Chincholi; Priyank Kharge, son of AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, was returned from Chittapur on Congress ticket; and Nikhil Katti, son of the late politician Umesh Katti, romped home in his father’s turf Hukkeri on BJP ticket.

Similarly, BY Vijeyendra, son of BJP strongman BS Yediyurappa, won in his family bastion Shikaripura, and HK Patil, son of Congress stalwart KH Patil won in Gadag on a Congress ticket. Also, Nayana Motamma, daughter of KPCC Vice President Motamma, won from Mudigere.

“The prominent reason politicians always push the case for their family members is that nobody wants to give up power and the means of money-making that comes with it, and this pattern will not end anytime soon,” said political analyst Rajendra Chenni.

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