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All eyes on Dharam Singh
Friday, 12 March , 2004, 10:40
The 'Lav-Kush' of Hyderabad-Karnataka politics, Ministers N Dharam Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge, would be contesting for the eighth time from the Assembly constituencies of Jewargi and Gurumitkal (Reserved) respectively. Both of them have won the seats since 1972.

Winning elections has become a habit for these two Congress stalwarts. Till now they have won seven times continuously from these constituencies.

This feat of winning continuously would have been equalled by B S Patil Mangoli from Basavanabagewadi in Bijapur district, former chief ministers Veerappa Moily from Mangalore and S Bangarappa from Sorab. But they were stopped in their tracks in the 1999 elections when Mr Patil lost to S K Bellubi of the BJP, Mr Moily and Mr Bangarappa chose to contest for the Lok Sabha seats. While Mr Moily lost, Mr Bangarappa won.

The winning margin for Mr Dharam Singh has continuously been declining while the winning margin for Mr Kharge has always been on the rise. In 1999, while Mr Dharam Singh won by a margin of around 2,000 votes, Mr Kharge won with an astounding margin of 47,124 votes.

Mr Dharam Singh started his political career by getting elected as an independent candidate to the Gulbarga Municipal Council in the ’60s.

He later joined the Congress, and in 1972 contested from Jewargi for the first time, and was pitted against political heavyweight Mahadevappa Rampure of Congress (O). His victory in the elections immediately brought him into the limelight.

Starting the winning streak, Mr Dharamsingh defeated Mallappa Alur (Janata Party) in 1978, Hanumanthrai Revenasiddappa (Janata Party) in 1983, Chennabasappa Kulgeri (Janata Party) in 1985, Appasaabgouda (Janata Party) in 1989, Shivlingappa Patil Naribol (KCP) in 1994, and Mr Naribol again in 1999 when he contested on a BJP ticket.

In the meantime, Mr Dharamsingh also contested for the Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat in 1980 and won. But before he could take the oath in Parliament, he resigned to make way for C M Stephen of the Congress, who had lost to Atal Behari Vajpayee in Delhi.

Mr Dharam Singh, known as 'Ajatashatru' in political circles, is contesting again from Jewargi on a Congress ticket. While the BJP has nominated Mr Naribol against Mr Dharam Singh, the Janata Dal (Secular) is likely to filed Kedarlingayya Hiremath.

Gurumitkal (Reserved) Seat The Gurmitkal (Reserved) constituency is considered the strongest borough of the Congress in the State.

Mr Kharge has groomed the constituency in such a way that it can literally be called a model constituency, and a safe constituency for any Congress candidate. Mr Kharge was the trade union leader of the MSK Mills in Gulbarga. Hailing from Bidar district, he settled in Gulbarga. In 1972, when Mr Kharge wanted to contest the Assembly elections from Sedam, he was told to contest from Gurmitkal. Since then he has never looked back.

Gurumitkal constituency, which was formed in 1962 has always elected a Congress candidate, except during the first election in 1962. In the first election, freedom fighter Vidhyadhar Guruji won the seat as an Independent defeating Mallappa Kollur of the Congress.

In 1967, N Yankappa of the Congress won from here. Since 1972, Mr Kharge has been winning this seat. Mr Kharge defeated Murthyappa (Independent) in 1972, G Mahadevappa Thammanna (Janata Party) in 1978, B N Gajanan (Janata Party) in 1983 and 1985, Arvind Guruji (Janata dal) in 1989, K B Shanappa (Janata Dal) in 1994, and Ashok Guruji (JD-U) in 1999. This time too, Mr Kharge will be contesting from here.

The other parties are still searching for their candidates as no one is interested in contesting from here.

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