Belagavi: The politically influential Jarkiholi family of Gokak has created a record of sorts in state politics as all three brothers have retained their seats for the fifth consecutive time these polls.
While Mr Balachandra Jarkiholi of the BJP registered a comfortable victory in Arabhavi constituency, Ramesh and Satish Jarkiholi, both of the Congress, fought close contests with their BJP rivals in Yamakanamardi and Gokak constituencies respectively to emerge victorious.
Mr Balachandra Jarkiholi, who won from Arabhavi constituency (Gokak district) in 2004 and 2008 as a JDS candidate, later switched to the BJP and won the last two elections with ease. In the last election he won by a huge margin of 75,000 votes against the Congress and continues to be the most popular leader in Arabhavi as seen by his latest win by a margin of 30,000 votes.
Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi was neck to neck with BJP's Ashok Pujari until the last round of counting , but pulled off a last minute win by 14,000 votes. A Minister for Cooperatives in the last government, he has won all assembly elections since 1999 from Gokak constituency. An I-T raid on his properties that allegedly led to the discovery of over Rs 200 crores , had tarnished his image in recent months.
Despite his huge popularity in Belagavi district, Mr Satish Jarkiholi was in a close contest with Mr Maruti Ashtagi of the BJP , but at last won by 2,850 votes. Having been MLC twice from local body constituencies of Belagavi and winning the last two assembly elections from Yamakanmardi constituency (ST reserved), he was so confident of his victory this time that he decided a few weeks ago not to campaign at all and claimed he would win by not less than 50,000 votes.
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