Badami seat: Siddaramaiah to meet Rahul today

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said he will take a decision on Saturday morning on contesting from Badami in Bagalkot district after a discussion with AICC president Rahul Gandhi. DH file photo

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said he will take a decision on Saturday morning on contesting from Badami in Bagalkot district after a discussion with AICC president Rahul Gandhi.

He said he never wanted to contest from Badami, but MLAs and other leaders from Bagalkot and Vijayapura have been pressuring him to contest from that constituency. It is believed that strategically, Siddaramaiah contesting from Badami, would mean strengthening the Congress in North Karnataka.

“The party high command also wanted me to contest from Badami (besides Chamundeshwari). The demand still stands. I will take a call tomorrow morning,” the chief minister said while participating in an interaction with journalists at the Mysuru District Journalists’ Association here.

Siddaramaiah expressed his displeasure when a comparison was drawn between him and
B Y Vijayendra, son of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. The question was “How do you justify your contest from Badami, where you are an outsider when you describe Vijayendra, who is contesting from your present constituency of Varuna, as one (outsider)?

Siddaramaiah said a win for the Congress in the polls will be a stepping stone not only for the party but also result in the revival of national politics. 

“The victory for the Congress in the Assembly polls is not only in the interest of the party. The Congress and like-minded parties will bounce back in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls if we win here in 2018,” he said.

Siddaramaiah again challenged BJP president Amit Shah to declare that he is not a Jain. 

“BJP leaders, who do not have a development agenda for the polls, are making baseless allegations. Taking a cue from my Ahinda success, they have started calling me ‘Ahindu’. Shah, who calls me Ahindu is not a Hindu at all. He is a Jain.”

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