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June 2023

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Hubballi / Dharwad

Aspirants for Congress party tickets in Kundagol and Navalgund create challenge for party leaders

Congress Kundagol NavalgundCongress party ticket aspirants (clockwise) Kusumavathi Shivalli, Prakashgouda Patil, NH Konaraddi, Vinod Asuti

Hubballi: As the Congress party leaders hold marathon meetings to finalize party tickets for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly election, it remains unclear who will get the tickets for the Kundagol and Navalgund constituencies in the Dharwad district.

Out of the seven assembly constituencies in the district, the Congress party has only announced a candidate for one so far – Hubballi-Dharwad (East), with current MLA Prasad Abbayya running for re-election. However, the remaining six seats have proven to be a challenge for the party, particularly in Kundagol where a section of party workers and aspirants are pressuring the leadership not to award the ticket to current MLA Kusumavathi Shivalli.

Congress faces challenge to quell discontent

Party leaders have attempted to quell the discontent but to no avail. Kundagol and Navalgund are interlinked constituencies, with the party historically awarding the Kuruba community a ticket in at least one of them. Shivalli, the current MLA, belongs to the Kuruba community. If the party gives her or the Shivalli family a ticket for Kundagol, then they will probably award a Lingayat candidate the Navalgund ticket.

One possible Lingayat candidate is Prakashgouda Patil, who hails from Hangal and helped quell a previous rebellion in Kundagol’s by-election, leading to Kusumavathi Shivalli’s victory. The party is reportedly strongly considering him for the Kundagol ticket. If he is selected, the party may award the Navalgund ticket to Vinod Asuti, a Kuruba candidate.

However, Asuti is not the only aspirant for the Navalgund ticket. Former MLA NH Konaraddi, who belongs to the Raddi community, is also vying for it. Meanwhile, in Navalgund, several candidates, including Shivanand Karigar, Bapugouda Patil, Rajashekhar Menasinkai, KN Gaddi, Chambanna Haladotar, and Vijaylaxmi Patil, are all hoping to secure the Congress party ticket.

It remains to be seen how the Congress party will handle the discontent among its workers and aspirants, especially if they choose to award the Navalgund ticket to a Lingayat candidate and are then pressured to award the Kundagol ticket to a Kuruba candidate. Other prime aspirants for the Kundagol ticket include Chandrashekhar Juttal and Ramesh Koppad, according to party sources.

The Congress party is expected to release the second list of candidates soon, with the announcement of tickets for the remaining 100 constituencies. It is possible that the Kundagol and Navalgund tickets will be included in this list, but it remains to be seen who will ultimately get them.


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