Kumar and Madhu Bangarappa, sons of former Karnataka chief minister S Bangarappa, are having an electoral dust-up from the Sorab assembly seat. The duo belongs to rival political parties – Congress and BJP – one of which, Kumar, is a sitting MLA from the ruling BJP in the constituency in Shivamogga district.
Both brothers have been riding on the legacy of Bangarappa’s legacy to win the constituency which was nurtured by the former CM. While Madhu had been invoking his late father in every village he visited in the state during the campaign, Kumar is seeking a re-election from Sorab by trying to claim his father’s legacy.
The Sorab constituency remained Bangarappa’s bastion for several decades as he represented the seat for seven consecutive terms, from 1967 to 1994, mostly on Congress tickets. When Bangarappa was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1994, he left the constituency to his elder son, Kumar.
After the 2004 elections, the rift between both the brothers widened when Bangarappa joined the BJP and fielded Madhu from the right-wing party from the constituency. However after knowing this, Kumar decided to join Congress on the same day.
After Bangarappa’s death in 2011, Madhu’s animosity towards his brother continued and in the 2018 assembly elections, he was defeated by Kumar by 3,286 votes.
Both sides of the duo levelled a set of allegations in the past which took the rivalry between to ugly turns. Last month, Kumar had lashed out at his brother, saying Madhu is a “one-term MLA”, who won the elections on a wave of sympathy and not on his own strength.
Similarly Kumar rebutted Madhu’s claims that he kicked their parents out and said, “In 2004, Madhu Bangarappa, who lied that Kumara Bangarappa had kicked his parents out, at that time, took a loan on the house and dumped it on his parents. He then hid in places like Chennai and Bombay for three months.”