Crown of contests in Badami as Siddaramaiah, Sriramulu file papers

Crown of contests in Badami as Siddaramaiah, Sriramulu file papers

This capital city of the Chalukyas is making history once again.

Come May 12, it will witness a battle royale of the modern times of two regional satraps, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from the Congress and Ballari MP B Sriramulu from the BJP.

Perhaps, Badami promises to be the crown of contests for political analysts given the constituency's caste calculus, which can make or break reputations.

Tuesday saw the filing of nominations by Siddaramaiah and Sriramulu as competing workers from the two national parties flooded Badami's streets, marching to drum beats.

On one side in this election is Siddaramaiah, who thought Badami to be a safe bet given the huge population of his community, the Kurubas and other Ahinda groups. On the other is Sriramulu, banking on the votes of dalits (to which he belongs) and the Lingayats, the latter being BJP's traditional votebank.

The BJP has tried to paint Siddaramaiah's choice of Badami as an insurance in the event of a possible loss in his home turf Chamundeshwari. The chief minister has sought to nullify the criticism by asking whether it was the fear of defeat in Vadodara that prompted Narendra Modi to contest from Varanasi too in the 2014 prime ministerial bid. 

He claims he is only responding to the love and affection shown by people in North Karnataka, by opting for one of the segments there. 

When Sriramulu filed his papers, two other BJP ticket aspirants M K Pattanashetti and Mahantesh Mamadapur too submitted their nominations, leaving room for a change of candidate if needed till the last date for withdrawal on April 27.

BJP state chief Yeddyurappa, party leaders Jagadish Shettar, Prakash Javadekar and Muralidhar Rao were with Sriramulu at the time of filing the papers.

Yeddyurappa said Goddess Banashankari, Badami's presiding deity, too will not bless the chief minister.

Siddaramaiah was accompanied by Congress leaders S R Patil, C M Ibrahim and ministers R B Thimmapur, Umashree and sitting MLA B B Chimmanakatti while filing the papers.


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