Curious case of three Union Ministers from Belagavi with short terms


Belagavi, the biggest district in the State after Bengaluru, has been represented in the Union Cabinet only thrice since the independence. The tenures of all the three former Union Ministers, however, were cut short by unfortunate events.

Byelection to the Belagavi Parliamentary constituency, to be held on April 17, was necessitated by the death of Suresh C. Angadi, the former Union Minister of State for Railways, seven months ago.

Of the 17 Lok Sabha members elected from Belagavi so far, Congress leader B.N. Datar and BJP leaders Babagouda Patil and Angadi have served as Ministers. While Mr. Babagouda Patil served as a Minister for nearly two years, Angadi held office for 14 months, and Datar served for just under a year.

First election

In the first election, Belagavi was a double-member constituency that sent Datar and S.V. Patil to Parliament. Datar, who won three consecutive polls, became the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in the Jawaharlal Nehru-led Cabinet in 1962. He died within a year, leading to the first byelection in 1963 in which H.V. Koujalagi won. The upcoming byelection is the second one being held for the seat.

The constituency in north-western Karnataka has sent 14 Congress nominees, two BJP leaders, and one Janata Dal candidate to the lower House of Parliament. Shivanand Koujalagi was the first Janata Dal leader go get elected from Belagavi to the Lok Sabha in 1996.

Mr. Babagouda Patil, the first Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader to enter the State Assembly in 1989, joined the BJP in 1998 and won the Lok Sabha polls. He served in the A.B. Vajpayee-led Cabinet as the Rural Development Minister. The Lok Sabha was dissolved in 1999, cutting short his tenure. Angadi, served four terms, before succumbing to COVID-19 in 2020.

All the others MPs — Datar, S.V. Patil, N.M. Nabisab, A.K. Kotrashetty, S.B. Sidnal, and Amarsinh Patil — were Congress leaders. Of them, Mr. Amarsinh Patil has now joined the BJP.

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