Hectic lobby for Congress LS tickets
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Hectic lobby for Congress LS tickets

March 15, 2024

CM Siddaramaiah, who is in Mysuru, keeps cards close to his chest as aspirants vie for tickets

Mysore/Mysuru: As the Lok Sabha election draws closer, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar have become hotbeds of intense lobbying within the Congress party for ticket allocation. The Election Commission of India will announce the election dates and phases at 3 pm tomorrow (Mar. 16).

The demand for Congress tickets from candidates surged  further with the arrival of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Mysuru last night to participate in a series of private and public engagements. This heightened speculation, especially in the light of BJP’s announcement of its candidates for Mysuru-Kodagu (Yaduveer Wadiyar) and Chamarajanagar (S. Balraj). While poll partners BJP and JD(S) are yet to announce their candidates for the Mandya seat, all eyes are on CM Siddaramaiah, who wields the authority to finalise the Congress candidates for the Old Mysore region — Mysuru-Kodagu, Mandya and Chamarajanagar Constituencies.

However, despite numerous aspirants seeking meetings with him and actively lobbying for their candidature, Siddaramaiah has opted to maintain a strategic silence, refraining from engaging with the media and keeping his decision closely guarded.

Dr. N.S. Mohan meets CM

Just two days after being denied the BJP ticket to contest from the Chamarajanagar (SC) Constituency, Dr. N.S. Mohan, the son-in-law of sitting BJP MP V. Sreenivasa Prasad, visited Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at his Ramakrishnanagar residence this morning.

Their meeting lasted about 15 minutes, during which they are believed to have discussed the possibility of Dr. Mohan joining the Congress.

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Dr. Mohan was among several aspirants vying for the BJP ticket in the Chamarajanagar seat, following Sreenivasa Prasad’s announcement that he would retire from electoral politics and not contest the polls again.

However, after being denied the party ticket, Dr. Mohan reportedly met Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar in Bengaluru on Thursday to explore the option of joining the Congress and contesting the LS polls from Chamarajanagar if guaranteed the ticket.

Today’s meeting between Dr. Mohan and CM Siddaramaiah has stirred curiosity in political circles, particularly since Sreenivasa Prasad has emerged as a vocal critic of Siddaramaiah.

Turn of Kote M. Shivanna

Following Dr. Mohan’s visit, another BJP leader, Kote M. Shivanna, met with the CM this morning. Shivanna, a former Minister, is reportedly disappointed by the BJP’s decision to deny him the ticket from the Chamarajanagar Constituency.

Amidst the ongoing political developments, it’s rumoured that Shivanna, spurred by his discontent with the BJP, is considering a switch to the Congress. However, the specifics of his conversation with the CM remain confidential.

Dr. B.J. Vijaykumar’s visit

Meanwhile, Congress District President Dr. B.J. Vijaykumar, a hopeful candidate for the Mysuru-Kodagu seat, also conferred with the CM, discussing matters about the party ticket. Meanwhile, Congress aspirant from Mysuru-Kodagu M. Lakshmana — confident of securing the ticket —has already started his groundwork in Kodagu by tagging along Virajpet MLA A.S. Ponnanna during the latter’s visits in interior parts.

Adding to the political flurry, former Kollegal MLA G.N. Nanjundaswamy also visited the CM at his Ramakrishnanagar residence this morning to assert his claim for the Congress ticket from Chamarajanagar.

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Siddu builds new house

Following these discussions with various political figures, CM Siddaramaiah, who arrived in Mysuru yesterday and spent the night, took some time to hear out public grievances before proceeding to Kuvempunagar to oversee the ongoing construction of his new residence.

The current residence in Ramakrishnanagar, belonging to Siddaramaiah’s close associate Mariswamy, serves as temporary accommodation to the CM. Sources indicate that the CM’s new house on Vishwamanava Double Road in Kuvempunagar is nearing completion. Once finished, Siddaramaiah plans to relocate there.

Avoids media, goes for lunch

After inspecting his under-construction residence in Kuvempunagar, Siddaramaiah returned to his home in Ramakrishnanagar. Shortly thereafter, he departed for a private choultry to attend a ‘Beegara Oota’ event, a traditional lunch hosted for families of newlywed couples. During the event at the choultry, former MP KagalwadiShivanna, accompanied by his daughter, engaged in discussions with Siddaramaiah. Despite the presence of waiting media persons, Siddaramaiah refrained from making any statements and swiftly left the venue.

Later, around 1 pm, Siddaramaiah’s wife Parvathi and daughter-in-law Smitha Rakesh also arrived for the lunch.

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