Siddaramaiah to contest from Badami too

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will contest from Badami in Bagalkot district and will file his nomination papers on Tuesday.

The decision comes after much dilly-dallying but the suspense on Siddaramaiah’s candidature from a second seat for the May 12 Assembly elections ended with the CM’s chief media unit sending a WhatsApp message that he will file his nomination papers between 2 and 3 pm on Tuesday in Badami.

Interestingly, there was no official announcement from the Central Election Committee of the All India Congress Committee, the party’s deciding body on elections, about Siddaramaiah’s candidature from Badami.

Siddaramaiah has already filed his nomination papers from Chamundeshwari seat in Mysuru district, where is he likely to face stiff competition from G T Deve Gowda of the JD(S). It was this fear of a tough fight that is said to be the main reason for Siddaramaiah to scout for a second seat.

At the same time, Siddaramaiah’s supporters were keen that he contest from a seat in North Karnataka as it would boost the electoral prospects of the Congress in the region.

Meanwhile, Badami could witness a straight fight between the two chief ministerial candidates with BJP national president Amit Shah floating the idea of party state unit chief B S Yeddyurappa contesting from the constituency.

Of the total 2.14 lakh voters in Badami, as many as 47,000 belong to the Kuruba community, to which Siddaramaiah belongs. The region also has a sizable population of Lingayats.

The Congress, in its list of candidates for 218 seats announced on April 15, had named Devraj Patil as its nominee from Badami. But issuing of the B-form to Patil was put on hold.

Initially, Siddaramaiah was in two minds on contesting from a second seat lest it sends a wrong message that he was not confident of winning from his home turf. The BJP too has been going to town stating that Siddaramaiah was not confident about winning from Chamundeshwari.

However, during the last few days, he has been giving indications about contesting from Badami.

Initially, the Congress high command had decided that no candidate will contest from more than one seat. Siddaramaiah had been camping in Mysuru since Monday and dedicated his entire schedule for campaigning in Chamundeshwari and Varuna (where his son Yathindra is contesting). Siddaramaiah’s restricting his campaign to two constituencies fuelled speculation that he was “unhappy” that the party leadership had not allowed him to contest from two constituencies.
 

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