BJP challenges CM to seek re-election from Varuna

BJP challenges CM to seek re-election from Varuna

Challenges and counter-challenges are being thrown back and forth to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his home district. These challenges are in fact taking new turns and twists by the day.

Ever since former minister D V Sadananda Gowda toured the CM's present Assembly constituency Varuna and commented about the lack of development there, the issue has taken a different dimension. On Tuesday, BJPleader Ka Pu Siddalingaswamy challenged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah not to flee to Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency but seek re-election from his present Varuna constituency. It has to be mentioned that Siddaramaiah has been frequently announcing that he would contest from Chamundeshwari constituency, which he represented from 1983 up to 2008, except for the defeats in 1989 (against M Rajasekhar Murthy of the Congress) and 1999 (against A S Guruswamy of the Congress). He joined the Congress in 2006 and won with a slender margin of 257 votes in the by-election.

He was reacting to Siddaramaiah's challenge to Sadananda Gowda to contest in Varuna constituency against Dr Yatindra Siddaramaiah. Siddalingaswamy, a former aide of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, was a KJP candidate in Varuna in the 2013 Assembly polls. While Siddaramaiah polled 84,385 votes, Siddalingaswamy had secured 54,744 votes. BJP candidate S D Mahendra had polled 1,070 votes.

Addressing a press meet, here, Siddalingaswamy said, "Siddaramaiah's challenge to Sadananda Gowda is unfortunate. By declaring his son's victory before the conduct of the elections, Siddaramaiah is questioning the independence of the voters of the Varuna constituency. Does he think that the voters are enslaved to him and the Congress party?"

"Sadananda Gowda has emerged victorious in several elections in his home district as well as in Bengaluru. The BJP has a strong presence in Varuna constituency, while the Congress has lost credibility among the people. Siddaramaiah is an escapist and is running away from Varuna. Dr Yatindra is no match to the BJP in Varuna, let Siddaramaiah himself contest from Varuna constituency again," he said.

"In the last election, due to confusion in the symbol and also due to the split of votes between the BJP and KJP, Siddaramaiah managed to win. But, in the upcoming election, we have a huge support from the people and we are confident that the BJP will win. Selection of the BJP candidate is left to the party high command. We will respect the decision of the high command and strive for the victory of the party," he added.

'Release list of works executed'

Siddalingaswamy demanded Siddaramaiah to release a list of works executed so far in Varuna constituency ever since he became chief minister. "Let him list out his contributions. The people of the constituency will judge him. Foundation stones have been laid for a few drinking water projects, but, the works have not yet started. The assurance to make the constituency hut-free has remained only on paper. Even SC and ST families in the constituency get the benefits extended by the state government only if they are supporters of the Congress party. People have a doubt whether the funds spent on the SC and ST communities belong to the government or the Congress party," he said.

"As the elections are nearing, tenders are being invited for works. The chief minister's son is attending the foundation stone laying ceremonies with the officials. Siddaramaiah had announced that the contractors who have executed sub-standard works would be blacklisted, but none have been blacklisted," he said.

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