With the Congress leadership reportedly short-listing four names for Bagalkot for the Lok Sabha polls, the party is yet to do a similar exercise for Vijayapura district where several aspirants have already thrown their hats in the ring.
According to reports, the Congress has short-listed four names for Bagalkot district. They are Veena Kashappanavar, ZP member and wife of the former MLA, Vijayananda Kashappanavar, Nanjayyana Math, former MLA, and party leaders Mahantesh Udupudi and Rakshita Aiti.
When it comes to Vijayapura, the party is yet to even prepare a list of aspirants, leave alone short-listing names.
Since Vijayapura seat is reserved for Scheduled Castes, ticket aspirants from this community are making efforts to clinch it for themselves.
Though over half a dozen aspirants are seeking party ticket, the prominent among them are the former MLAs Raju Algur, Vithal Katakadonda, Manohar Ainapur and party leader Kanta Naik.
While Mr. Algur and Mr. Katakadonda belong to the Dalit community, Mr. Ainapur and Ms. Naik are Lambanis who are categorised under Scheduled Castes in the State.
The seat is represented by Ramesh Jigajinagi of the BJP who belongs to a Dalit community.
Twice in the past, the Congress offered ticket to MLC Prakash Rathod from the Lambani community to contest against Mr. Jigajinagi. However, in both the elections he was defeated by Mr. Jigajinagi.
Now, though voices are being raised by leaders of the community to give ticket again to the same community, chances seem to be narrowing as the party has given ticket twice to them earlier.
Besides this, Mr. Rathod has been made MLC even after he lost elections twice. The Dalit leaders are now urging the party to offer ticket to their leader for a third time.
However, there are two strong contenders in Mr. Algur and Mr. Katakadonda, both former MLAs and both representing Nagathan (Reserved) constituency.
Interestingly, Mr. Katakadonda was the district president of the BJP, but after he was denied ticket from Nagathan Assembly constituency by that party, he joined the Congress and got ticket. However, he lost the election to Devanand Chavan of the Janata Dal(S).
Amid this, the Janata Dal(S) is staking claim to the seat as it is in a coalition with the Congress in the State. However, the Congress leaders have made it amply clear that the seat will not be given to the Janata Dal(S).