If Sonia Gandhi can contest in Bellary, Indira Gandhi from Chikkamagalur, Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad, why not Somanna from Varuna: Pratap Simha
Mysore/Mysuru: Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Siddharamaiah, who is the Congress candidate for Varuna, has alleged that V. Somanna, who is contesting as the Varuna BJP candidate at the behest of B.L. Santosh, the BJP National General Secretary (Organisation), has become a sacrificial lamb.
While speaking to the media at the Mysuru Airport in Mandakalli yesterday, Siddharamaiah stated that Somanna, who was originally seeking a ticket to contest from Govindarajanagar in Bengaluru, was forced to contest from Varuna with the malicious intention of finishing him (Siddharamaiah). He also claimed that Somanna has fallen prey to the plot of Santosh to field those with good financial resources to spend on the election.
“Somanna has no connection to Varuna as he hails from the Ramanagara and has been involved in politics in Bengaluru. Even when he was a Minister, he made no contributions to Varuna. “Despite this,” said Siddharamaiah sarcas- tically, “he has been pitted in the election here.”
While speaking to reporters, Siddharamaiah sounded confident as he stated, “Let anyone contest in Varuna, the people of the Constituency will not betray me. This is my last election and I had the desire to contest from this segment as it comprises my hometown. No matter who is pitched against me, they can’t ruin the relationship I have with the people here. Somanna is an outsider, while I am a local resident. I know every village and person in this area. I have represented this Constituency for ten years as an MLA and even became the Chief Minister from here. Therefore, I have a better rapport with the people.”
The former CM recalled, “In the previous election, my son Dr. Yathindra Siddharamaiah had to contest from Varuna as per the aspirations of the people. I had contested from Chamundeshwari Constituency but was defeated.”
Siddharamaiah then challenged Somanna’s record, stating that as Housing Minister, he did not allot any housing units to Varuna. Siddharamaiah further challenged Somanna to prove that he has contributed to the district in any way during his tenure as a District Minister. “Has he provided shelter to the homeless? Let him demonstrate that he has implemented any schemes or projects in Varuna,” challenged Siddharamaiah.
Siddharamaiah questioned, “Who has developed Varuna all these years? Who built four bridges? Who provided roads, drinking water, drainage and other basic facilities? Just because somebody tells lies, people won’t forget the development works done by us. My victory in Varuna is assured.”
Regarding the statement of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai that they have taken Varuna seriously, Siddharamaiah asked, “Does this mean that they have taken the remaining 223 constituencies lightly and only considered Varuna seriously?”
Siddharamaiah then criticised Bommai for not being aware that Varuna lacks Taluk Centre status, despite being the Chief Minister. “His lack of knowledge on the Taluk Centre shows his downfall. Can such people safeguard the State?” he questioned.
“The BJP would win no more than 60 seats, yet the CM continues to make promises,” he said and then questioned why CM Bommai did not make Varuna a Taluk Centre during his four-year tenure. Siddharamaiah accused Bommai of lying wherever he goes and making false promises of bringing “ache din” and bringing heaven down to earth by pointing to the sky.
Santosh pulls strings
Siddharamaiah claimed that there were no allegations against S.A. Ramdas, the BJP MLA from Krishnaraja, but he was still denied a ticket. He also pointed out that several other BJP leaders, including Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi, were also refused tickets. Siddharamaiah suggested that B.L. Santosh played a role in the decision, and even Shettar had made similar comments.
Simha’s retort on ‘outsider’ remark
Meanwhile, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha has retorted to the ‘outsider’ remark made by Siddharamaiah against Somanna. In a tweet yesterday that has gone viral, Simha said, “Siddaramanna, Italy-born Sonia Gandhi can contest the election in Bellary, Allahabad-born Indira Gandhi can come to Chikkamagalur, Rahul Gandhi born to foreign mother in New Delhi can move to Wayanad in Kerala. Can’t Somanna come to Varuna? Tell us, if you were born in Badami from where you (Siddharamaiah) contested the last election?”