The suspense over where Karnataka Congress strongman Siddaramaiah would contest from in the upcoming Assembly elections continued on Tuesday with the former Chief Minister saying he would consult his family.
A large number of the former Chief Minister’s supporters on Tuesday sought to pile pressure on him to stick to his decision to contest from Kolar in the elections, due by May, even though the party’s central leadership has reportedly made it clear that they are not in favour of the move.
Siddaramaiah, however, denied that the party’s central leadership had advised him not to contest from Kolar, and termed such reports ”disinformation”.
In the 2018 Assembly elections, he contested from two segments. He won in Badami in Bagalkot district and lost in Chamundeshwari in Mysuru district.
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Siddaramaiah said the central leadership had told him not to take even ”one per cent risk” in the choice of his constituency and asked him to tour the entire state for campaigning. The party had left the decision on constituency selection to him, the Congress Legislature Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly said.
Siddaramaiah had in January announced that he would contest from Kolar, subject to the approval of the party’s central leadership, and had reiterated his desire multiple times thereafter. However, the Congress leadership, including Rahul Gandhi, at the party’s central election committee meeting held in the national capital last Friday, reportedly advised him not to enter the fray from Kolar. Denying such reports, Siddaramaiah said: ”There was no discussion on Kolar (constituency). It has been kept pending. They (central leadership) have not said, ”Contest from Kolar or do not contest from Kolar”’.
On Tuesday, his supporters who came from various parts of Karnataka, including Kolar, staged a spirited demonstration outside his residence demanding that he fight the polls from Kolar itself. Addressing the protesters, he reiterated that he would go by the decision taken by the party’s high command. ”Tomorrow, I will consult my son and family,” Siddaramaiah said. “I only said the decision about the constituency from where I will fight the election is left to the party high command. I will abide by their decision.” Later speaking to reporters outside the state Congress headquarters, he reiterated, “The decision is left to the high command. Whatever the high command’s decision, I will abide by it.”