Congress leaders on their toes as CM stays put in Mysuru

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah takes part in a roadshow, along with Dr Yatindra Siddaramaiah and others at a Madegowdan Hundi village in Varuna Assembly constituency, near Mysuru on Thursday. DH/PV Photo

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s moves over the past two days has left the Congress leaders a worried lot. He overstayed in the city, contrary to his schedule of winding up the campaigning in his Chamundeshwari and his son’s Varuna Assembly constituencies by Tuesday and going ahead on his state-wide tour.

AICC general secretary in-charge of the party affairs in Karnataka K C Venugopal, KPCC president G Parameshwara, Power Minister D K Shivakumar and other leaders rushed to Mysuru to hold talks with him on Wednesday night.

Since the release of the party’s candidate list on Sunday, as per which Siddaramaiah is to contest only from Chamundeshwari, it is learnt that he is unhappy as his demand for a second ticket from Badami in Bagalkot district was not met by the high command.

When Siddaramaiah stayed back on Wednesday and there were indications that he might remain in the city till Friday to file nomination papers, the senior leaders rushed to Mysuru and held talks with the chief minister.

On Thursday, a group of Congress leaders and workers from Badami intercepted the car of Siddaramaiah near his house and urged him to contest from their constituency. He interacted with them for a few minutes and replied to them in the positive.

Later, he said that the candidate for Badami Assembly segment would be decided by the party high command before April 23. Though the Congress had announced Dr Devaraj Patil as its candidate, the party has not issued him the ‘B’ form.

Sitting MLA B B Chimmanakatti is still an aspirant of the ticket. As there are speculations that Siddaramaiah would contest from two segments — Chamundeshwari and Badami — the ticket for Badami is yet to be finalised.

When reporters pointed out that people were confused about his candidature, Siddaramaiah said there was no confusion.

“I am the chief minister, not party high command. We will only follow the direction of the high command,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said he would undertake a statewide campaign from April 24. “I will not tour all the 224 constituencies. I will visit the constituencies where there is a tough fight,” he said.

To a query, the chief minister said the party had decided to field H P Rajesh from Jagalur segment and the candidature of Manohar Tahasildar from Hangal would be taken up with the high command.

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