Battle lines drawn as CM, GTD file papers for Chamundeshwari

Chief Minister Siddharamaiah filing his nomination papers for the Chamundeshwari Constituency before the Returning Officer B. Venkatesh at the Taluk office in Mini Vidhana Soudha building yesterday

Mysuru:  Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and JD(S) leader and incumbent Chamundeshwari constituency MLA G.T. Devegowda (GTD) filed their nomination papers yesterday for the prestigious Chamundeshwari segment that both parties are hell-bent on winning.

Siddharamaiah’s high-profile nomination from Chamundeshwari, which he last represented in 2004, saw some drama. The procession accompanying him clashed with the followers of Devegowda at Chamaraja Circle. This forced the Police to resort to a lathi charge to control the mob fury.

The CM arrived at Chamaraja Circle, after special prayers at Siddarameshwara Temple at his native village in Siddaramanahundi, and Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hill, where his supporters accorded him a rousing reception. Devegowda too visited the Chamundeshwari Temple along with his family to perform special pujas before he filed the nominations.

After the puja rituals, Devegowda and his supporters arrived at Mini Vidhana Soudha to file his papers at 2.05 pm and filed his nominations in three sets at 2.10 pm before Returning Officer B. Venkatesh. Devegowda’s wife Lalitha, Zilla Panchayat member Beerihundi Basavanna, Belawadi Shivamurthy and other leaders were present.

Siddharamaiah too arrived at the Mini Vidhana Soudha at 2.15 pm only to realise that his friend-turned-foe G.T. Devegowda was with the Returning Officer filing his papers. He had to wait for over 20 minutes at the waiting room. Soon after Devegowda left the venue at 2.30 pm, Siddharamaiah went to the Returning Officer’s office to file his papers at 2.35 pm.

Siddharamaiah submitted the papers in two sets. District Congress President Dr. B.J. Vijayakumar, Former Chairperson of Women’s Commission Manjula Manasa, leaders Bogadi Krishnamadegowda, Mavinahalli Siddegowda, Marballi Kumar and others were present.

“CM never cared for Chamundeshwari”

After filing the papers, Devegowda said he and Siddharamaiah were together from 1983 to 2006 and worked for each other’s success in politics. “After Siddharamaiah shifted to Varuna Assembly segment in 2008, he never cared for the people of the Chamundeshwari segment. But, now, to make way for his son Dr. Yathindra, Siddharamaiah wants to return to Chamundeshwari,” he said.

MLA G.T. Devegowda filing his nomination papers at the same place.

“Earlier, Siddharamaiah used to say Chamundeshwari was his Karma Bhoomi but now he is saying Badami is close to his heart. People of Chamundeshwari have already decided to teach a befitting lesson to the CM. Siddharamaiah very well knows that if H.D. Kumaraswamy and G.T. Devegowda join hands, he (CM) will be defeated. That is why he is migrating to Badami,” he added.

“Happy with people’s support”

Chief Minister Siddharamaiah said he is happy with the people’s support. “I?have an emotional bonding for the Chamundeshwari segment. Thus, I?decided to end my electoral politics from the segment from where I?started. I have political opponents but not enemies,” Siddharamaiah said.

“I have filed the nomination papers without any confusion or tension. This is my last elections and I have got tremendous response during my campaigns. This shows that people have decided to bless me,” he said. Siddharamaiah was first elected from Chamundeshwari segment as an Independent in 1983, but, he shifted to Varuna segment in 2008.