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  India   All India  22 Apr 2018  Siddaramaiah to fight from 2 seats in Karnataka

Siddaramaiah to fight from 2 seats in Karnataka

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 22, 2018, 2:01 am IST
Updated : Apr 22, 2018, 2:01 am IST

The suspense over Mr Siddaramaiah’s move to contest from Badami ended after the leader returned to Bengaluru on Saturday morning.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Photo: File)
 Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Photo: File)

Bengaluru: The ruling Congress’ charioteer and chief minister Siddaramaiah will contest from two constituencies — his home turf, Chamundeshwari, and Badami, a home away from home in Bagalkot district — evidently to prevent the BJP from securing a foothold south of the Vindhyas in Assembly elections scheduled for May 12.

Mr Siddaramaiah will submit his nomination papers at Badami — the erstwhile regal capital of Badami Chalukyas and renowned for its cave temples carved out of red sandstone hills — on April 24.

 

He will set a record as the first chief minister to contest from Assembly constituencies in several decades, and emulate his mentor-turned-foe and JD(S) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda who unsuccessfully contested from Holenarasipur and Sathnur seats in 1989. Mr Gowda’s son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is also set to contest from two constituencies — Ramanagar and Channapatna — in forthcoming polls.

The suspense over Mr Siddaramaiah’s move to contest from Badami ended after the leader returned to Bengaluru on Saturday morning. The Kuruba strongman, who campaigned extensively in Chamundeshwari and Varun constituencies for five days after the party released its list of 218 candidates, told the media, “I have told the high command that I will contest from Chamundeshwari and not from two constituencies. However, the people of north Karnataka are pressuring the high command that I should contest from north Karnataka too.” He said that he would go by the decision of party’s central leaders.

 

In the evening, his office confirmed that the chief minister would contest from Badami as well, but submit his nomination papers after another visit to his home district, Mysuru, on Monday.

With JD (S) leaders pulling out all the stops to trounce him in Chamundeshwari through his friend-turned-electoral rival G.T. Deve Gowda, contesting from Badami could well end up being another gamble.

Though sizeable number of voters belong to the Kuruba community, the same as Mr Siddaramaiah, sources in Congress are apprehensive about a backlash in view of the state government’s decision to recommend a separate religious status for Lingayats. Add to that the possibility of the BJP picking a powerful Lingayat candidate to contest against the chief minister.

 

In addition, the enemy within, or party leaders who opposed to his style of functioning, could also make it difficult for Mr Siddaramaiah in both these seats. They are already peeved with his repeated assertion that he would return as the chief minister for another term at the end of next month’s polls.

Tags: siddaramaiah, karnataka, h.d. deve gowda