Mahesh Kumathalli is an Indian politician and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who was elected as MLA from Athani during the 2019 Karnataka Legislative Assembly by-elections. He was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Athani in the 2018 Karnataka Legislative Assembly election as a member of the Indian National Congress (INC).
Mahesh Iranagouda Kumathalli was born on 24 August, and he hails from Telasang village, Athani taluk, Karnataka, India. He completed his BE Civil Engineering from KLE Dr MS Sheshgiri College of Engineering & Technology (KLECET), Belgaum, Karnataka in 1986. Apart from politics, he also draws agricultural income from his land in Savadi and Telsang villages in Karnataka.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Kumathalli belongs to a Hindu Panchamasali Lingayat family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Iranagouda Kumathalli. His younger brother, Prakash Kumathalli, is a doctor. Prakash Kumathalli is married to Jyothi Kumathalli, who is also a doctor. In 2005, Prakash and Jyothi adopted their native village Telasang in Athani taluk for a year with an aim to improve it.
Wife & Children
His wife is a homemaker.
He follows Hinduism.
His permanent address is 4362, Vikrampur, Athani – 591304, Belagavi District, Karnataka, India.
In 2013, he contested the Athani assembly seat on INC’s ticket, but he lost the election to BJP candidate Laxman Sangappa Savadi. In 2018, he contested and won the Athani assembly seat as an INC candidate, defeating the BJP candidate Laxman Sangappa Savadi by 2331 votes. After the 2018 Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections, H. D. Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) was sworn in as the Chief Minister, with the support of INC, BSP, KPJP, and independent an MLA. By July 2019, 13 MLAs from the INC and 3 MLAs from the JD(S) resigned from the assembly, pushing the government to a minority. Additionally, 1 KPJP and 1 independent MLA also withdrew their support from the government and extended their support to BJP. The rebel MLAs left Bangalore and camped in a resort in Mumbai. Thereafter, Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy moved the trust vote in the house, which resulted in the fall of his government. Mahesh Kumathalli was one of the 15 MLAs who brought down the Kumaraswamy government by not supporting the trust vote and shifting their allegiance to the BJP.
In the 2019 Karnataka Legislative Assembly by-elections, Kumathalli contested and won the Athani assembly seat as a BJP candidate. In 2023, he contested the Athani assembly on BJP’s ticket, but he lost to INC candidate Laxman Savadi by 76,122 votes.
Remarks on flood-hit people
In 2021, Mahesh Kumathalli stirred controversy after a video featuring his flippant talk about flood-affected people went viral on social media. In one video clip, Kumathalli was seen asking a person in a flood-affected area in Athani taluk to also give him a “quarter.” In another video, shot at a guest house, Kumathalli was seen expressing his “tough situation”. He told his followers that he was occupied by too many issues and that he felt like throwing his cell phone away and sleeping peacefully as he was fed up of calls from flood-affected people. Consequently, Kumathalli received widespread criticism after which he issued an apology for his remarks. He said at that point of time he had just recovered from COVID-19 and did not want to hurt anyone.
Assets & Properties
- Deposits in Banks: Rs 84,87,039
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares in companies: Rs 7000
- Other assets: Rs 5,78,000
- Agricultural Land: Rs 3,85,50,000
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 8,01,39,785
- Residential Buildings: Rs 79,20,000
Note: The given estimates of moveable and immovable assets are according to the financial years 2022-23. It does not include the assets owned by his wife and dependents.
His net worth in 2023 was Rs 13,61,72,173. It does not include the net worth of his wife and dependents.
- In 2019, Pramod Hiremani, who is the Youth Congress president in Athani, filed a habeas corpus petition before the High Court of Karnataka alleging that Mahesh Kumathalli, MLA from Athani, was missing and possibly in illegal detention. MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi was accused of illegally confining Kumathalli. Consequently, the high court issued notices to the State government and Jarkiholi. Earlier Hiremani had filed a police complaint in Athani, but he was told that Kumathalli must be in Bengaluru where the Assembly Session is in progress. Hiremani looked for the MLA in Bengaluru and failed to locate him; hence, he filed the petition. It was said that Mahesh had allegedly informed the applicant of the petition that Ramesh had been forcing him to resign from his MLA post. At that time, Kumathalli was one of the Congress MLAs who were staying away from the Assembly sessions and was presumed to be in touch with the BJP for shifting allegiance. The MLAs were speculated to be in Mumbai at the behest of the BJP which is trying to lure away them to destabilise the coalition Government in Karnataka.
- While Kumathalli successfully brought down the coalition government in 2019, his native village, Telasang, and other villages in Athani taluk installed large boards on their outskirts to prohibit his entry. He was no longer welcome for campaigning in the area as the villagers accuse him of selling his position for money. They claimed that Kumatalli chose to stay in Mumbai while their villages were flooded in the monsoon. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who campaigned in Telasang village ahead of the 2019 byelections, accused Kumatalli of “selling himself” to the BJP for money “like a sheep, hen or buffalo.”