Cong cites Gundu Rao to junk CM’s plea to contest from 2 seats

Siddaramaiah sought the tickets from Chamundeshawari in Mysuru district and Badami in Bagalkot district. DH file photo.

Despite Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s plans to contest from two seats for the May 12 Assembly elections, the Congress high command junked his plea citing the 1983 episode involving the then chief minister R Gundu Rao.

During the meeting with party high command here last week, Siddaramaiah sought the tickets from — Chamundeshawari in Mysuru district and Badami in Bagalkot district.

As per his plan, sources said that contesting from Chamundeshwari would help the victory of his doctor-son Yathindra who sought the ticket from Varuna.

Though he has lost in Chamundeshwari in the past, winning in Badami would not be a problem as the seat has a large number of Kuruba voters, the caste to which the chief minister belongs.

After the chief minister’s demand, KPCC chief G Parameshwara is also learnt to have sought tickets from two seats — Koratagere in Tumakuru district and CV Raman Nagar in Bengaluru. However, at the Congress Election Committee meeting, several leaders suggested that the party should stick to the one person, one seat policy.

They also suggested that the Congress should not begin a new precedent of fielding leaders from two segments.

The meeting was headed by party president Rahul Gandhi and attended by state leaders, including party leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, senior leader M Veerappa Moily and

The state leaders cited Gundu Rao’s example, where the party had asked him to contest only from one segment despite him filing nominations in two places, sources said.

In the 1983 polls, Gundu Rao had filed nominations from Somwarpet constituency in Kodagu district and Chittapur segment in the then Gulbarga district.

But he withdrew nomination from Chittapur at the last moment on the direction of the then party president Indira Gandhi, who was also the prime minister.

Finally, Rao fought from Somwarpet and lost the elections to Janata Party candidate B A Jivijaya. “Had the Congress allowed Siddaramaiah to contest from two places, the party would have to sacrifice three seats for one family as the party agreed to field his son Yathindra from Varuna,” said a senior leader.

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