Siddaramaiah in search of a safer Assembly seat

Siddaramaiah in search of a safer Assembly seat

Siddaramaiah in search of a safer Assembly seat

With his political rivals joining forces against him, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is said to be on second thoughts on contesting the coming Assembly elections from Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru district.

Siddaramaiah had announced that he would go back to Chamundeshwari, paving the way for his son Dr Yatindra to contest from Varuna. The chief minister is currently representing the Varuna constituency as MLA, and he considers it a safe seat for his son to make an electoral debut. Dr Yatindra has been preparing the grounds for his contest from the constituency, for close to a year now.

But sources in the ruling Congress said that Siddaramaiah is still in two minds on contesting from Chamundeshwari. He recently said that he is undecided on his constituency and that the partymen are mounting pressure on him to contest from any of the three constituencies in north Karnataka Badami, Koppal and Bagalkot.

Has Siddaramaiah developed cold feet after his adversaries in Mysuru joining forces against him in Chamundeshwari? Of late, this is the question making rounds in the ruling party circles. The JD(S) has decided to re-nominate its sitting MLA G T Deve Gowda from Chamundeshwari. Siddaramaiah's friends-turned-foes former Union minister V Srinivas Prasad and former MP A H Vishwanath, who are now in the BJP and the JD(S) respectively -- have openly declared that they will work towards Siddaramaiah's defeat.

Besides, the intelligence wing of the state police is said have reported that it will not be a safe seat for the chief minister to contest. The Congress has saddled him with the responsibility of leading the party campaign in the coming polls. So, he will be touring the state during the election, leaving very less time for his own campaign.

Badami, Bagalkot and Koppal constituencies have been shortlisted as alternative to Chamundeshwari.

For, these constituencies are dominated by the Kuruba community, to which Siddaramaiah belongs. The sitting MLAs B B Chimmanakatti (Badami), H Y Meti (Bagalkot) and Raghavendra Hitnal (Koppal) are all Kurubas. This apart, Hebbal and Govindrajnagar constituencies in Bengaluru city, where Kurubas are in sizeable number, are also being considered for Siddaramaiah, the sources said.

A chief minister shifting the constituency is nothing new in Karnataka politics. The late Ramakrishna Hegde, who used to contest from his home district of Uttara Kannada, had switched to Basavanagudi in Bengaluru in 1985 and won from there.

Similarly, S M Krishna had shifted from Maddur in Mandya district to Chamarajpet in Bengaluru in 2004 and was elected to the Assembly.