Badami: Sriramulu may be BJP's surprise weapon against CM

The BJP is mulling over fielding Bellary Lok Sabha member B Sriramulu from the Badami seat in the district if Chief Minister Siddaramaiah contests from there.

This is as part of the strategy devised by the BJP under the leadership of party president Amit Shah at a meeting held at the residence of party leader Govind Karjol in Bagalkot on Friday.

It is said that local leaders of the party are in favour of fielding Sriramulu, for various strategic reasons.

The strategy is to wean away the votes of the Valmiki community, to which Sriramulu belongs, from the Congress, besides wooing voters of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva communities, given that B S Yeddyurappa is the BJP's chief ministerial candidate.

It will also help keep S Thippeswamy as the party's nominee in Molakalmuru, as he is sulking after Sriramulu's name was announced for the Molakalmuru constituency in Chitradurga district.

The saffron party is also counting on the votes of the Scheduled Tribes, who are in good numbers in the constituency. It is said that former MLA M K Pattanashetti and his relative Mahantesh Mamadapur are BJP ticket aspirants this time.Mamadapur had contested on the JD(S) ticket last time and stood second.

Former minister and sitting MLA B B Chimmanakatti, who has represented the seat five times since 1978 and belongs to Kuruba community, had so far thrived on the division in Lingayat votes, which the BJP now wants to consolidate.

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