CM’s indecision clouds Cong campaign

Siddaramaiah himself has been inconsistent on contesting from two seats, moving from occasional certainty to indecision. His latest stand is that he would take a call after discussing with Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress camp is a worried lot ahead of the May 12 elections.

If Chief Minister Siddaramaiah decides to contest from two seats — Chamundeshwari and Badami — a section of leaders fear that it could affect the party’s campaign because their “leader” will have to juggle between only Mysuru and Bagalkot. Siddaramaiah has been tasked with leading the party into the polls. 

Siddaramaiah himself has been inconsistent on contesting from two seats, moving from occasional certainty to indecision. His latest stand is that he would take a call after discussing with Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Some party leaders, however, are against Siddaramaiah’s dual candidature on the grounds that not only would it display weakness — that the CM himself is fearful of defeat — but would also confine him to campaigning in Chamundeshwari and Varuna, where his son Dr Yathindra is making a poll debut.

In a recent interview, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara told DH that “a CM shouldn’t go into an election with insecurity” as that could cause “a political setback.”

There is widespread belief that a consolidation of Vokkaligas, anchored by Chamundeshwari sitting legislator G T Devegowda of the JD(S), could work against Siddaramaiah.

Badami has a high population of Kurubas — the caste to which Siddaramaiah belongs — and the BJP is playing its cards close to its chest here. The saffron party has not announced its Badami candidate yet. But it is said to be considering fielding a Lingayat or someone from the Scheduled Tribes, both dominant in the region, against Siddaramaiah. 

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa seems to have gauged the Congress’ mood. “The Congress’ panic moves on the ground bare the truth. Its General is desperately running for cover from one constituency to another. If the General isn’t confident on his home turf, you can imagine the morale and confidence of his ranks. The writing is on the General’s face,” the BJP’s chief ministerial face tweeted.

KPCC campaign committee member and MLC Rizwan Arshad told DH that contesting from Badami was never part of Siddaramaiah’s calculation. “That region gave the Congress maximum seats in the 2013 polls and some feel that Siddaramaiah contesting from there would further boost the party with a minimum gain of 10,000-15,000 votes,” he said. 

Arshad, however, is confident that Siddaramaiah will make time to lead the party’s campaign despite contesting from two seats.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry