Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday indicated that he might contest from his home constituency of Varuna in Mysuru district in the upcoming Assembly polls.
The Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly also hinted at fighting the elections from two constituencies, including Varuna, like he did in 2018.
Varuna is currently represented by his son Dr Yathindra Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah had earlier won twice from Varuna, and even went on to become the Chief Minister after winning from the seat in 2013.
”From many constituencies they (supporters and party workers) are asking…. From 25 constituencies they are asking (me to contest). I cannot contest from all 25 constituencies. There is one opinion at home that I should be contesting from Varuna, so I have said (to the party’s central leadership), clear Varuna, let’s see,” Siddaramaiah said. Speaking to reporters, he said, ”…at home they are saying that I should be contesting from one more constituency, let’s see, I haven’t thought about it.” The Congress legislature party leader who is nursing chief ministerial ambitions in the event of the party coming to power, and has been looking for a ”safe seat”, had announced in January that he would contest from Kolar, reportedly after conducting surveys. He did say, however, that it would be subject to the approval of the party’s central leadership. Last week there were reports that the Congress leadership including Rahul Gandhi, during the party’s Central Election Committee meeting, advised Siddaramaiah not to contest from Kolar, which is said to be “risky” for him. Following this, Siddaramaiah on Tuesday told a large group of supporters from Kolar who had gathered near his residence here that the Congress high command had asked him not to take even ”one percent risk” while choosing a constituency to contest the elections. Stating that the high command had left the decision to him, and had asked him to be available for campaigning across the state ahead of the elections, he had said, ”I will speak to my son and my wife and arrive at a decision.” Siddaramaiah, who currently represents Badami segment of Bagalkote district in the northern part of the state, has repeatedly indicated that he may not contest from there, citing his inability to give more time to people and party workers of the constituency as the reason.
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The 75-year-old leader, who has announced that the 2023 assembly polls will be his last, has made it clear that he would not contest from his former constituency of Chamundeshwari in Mysuru. As the then sitting Chief Minister, he lost the 2018 polls in Chamundeshwari to G T Deve Gowda of the JD(S) by 36,042 votes. He, however, won Badami, the other constituency from where he had contested the 2018 polls, and defeated B Sriramulu of the BJP by 1,696 votes.
Making his debut in the Assembly in 1983, Siddaramaiah had got elected from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal Party ticket. He has won five times from this constituency and tasted defeat thrice.
After neighbouring Varuna became a constituency in 2008 following delimitation, Siddaramaiah represented it till he vacated the seat for his son Yathindra Siddaramaiah (MLA) in the 2018 Assembly polls and went back to his old constituency of Chamundeshwari.