Kalaburagi: His sheer arrogance and recklessness appear to have been Afzalpur strongman, Malikayya Guttedar’s undoing these Assembly polls. In a triangular contest, he lost to arch rival, M Y Patil of the Congress by 10,000 votes.
In the past, former MLA always maintained that when it came to politics in Afzalpur, parties were irrelevant and only two individuals mattered, both he and Mr Patil. Until recently with the Congress, Mr Guttedar decided to join the BJP close to the elections after he was denied a ministerial berth in the Siddaramaiah government allegedly under pressure from senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge.
It was clear to many that Mr Guttedar had dug his own grave by his decision to join the BJP at the last minute and his constant criticism of both the senior and junior Kharges, as this turned the contest between him and Mr M Y Patil into a fight between him and the father-son duo.
Seeing his vow to defeat Mr Priyank Kharge in Chittapur constituency as an open challenge, the Kharges assumed the responsibility of fighting Mr Patil’s battle to teach the ‘arrogant Malikayya’ a lesson. In the process he lost the Dalit, Muslim and Kabbaliga voters, who had supported him in previous elections.
With the powerful Kharge camp and all major communities arraigned against him, the writing was on the wall for Mr Guttedar, who clearly did not play his cards as well as he should have these polls.
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