Bengaluru: Opposition leader and former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who just managed to scrape through in Badami Constituency in Bagalkot district in the 2018 Assembly polls, is likely to contest from Chamarajpet Assembly segment of Bengaluru City in the next polls.
Siddharamaiah, who was Congress CM in 2018, had contested in two seats — Chamundeshwari, his home constituency in Mysuru and Badami. But badly lost to his JD(S) rival G.T. Devegowda in Chamundeshwari by a huge margin of 36,000 votes and barely managed to win in Badami, defeating his nearest rival B. Sriramulu of BJP by just 1,700 votes.
With the 2023 Assembly polls just over two years away, Siddharamaiah is said to be planning to contest from Chamarajpet, which is now represented by Zameer Ahmed Khan of Congress, who is considered as his close associate. Chamarajpet constituency has a large Muslim electorate and with the minorities and backward classes said to be strongly behind Congress, Siddharamaiah considers this as a safer constituency. Even the current MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan is readily willing to forego the constituency in favour of Siddharamaiah in case he chooses to contest from here. Zameer may move to Shivajinagar, which is now represented by his fellow Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad.
Meanwhile, in another development, Siddharamaih is said to have convinced former Home Minister M.B. Patil, who had reportedly made a move to crossover to BJP, to stay in Congress. Patil, a Lingayat strongman, is said to have been assured of Dy.CM post if Congress returns to power in 2023 Assembly polls.
‘Own partymen backstabbed in last Assembly polls’
Alleging that some of his own Congress party workers joined hands with his rivals (JD-S and BJP) to ensure his defeat in Chamundeshwari in 2018 polls, Siddharamaiah said that Opposition Leaders who were jealous about completion of his full five-year term as the CM, conspired to defeat him and succeeded in it.
He was addressing ‘Jan Adhikar’ rally, a convention of Congress party workers from Chamundeshwari segment that was organised by Mysuru District Congress Committee as part of the preparations for Gram Panchayat polls at Kalabyraveshwara Convention Hall in Aravindnagar here yesterday.
Claiming that there was not even a single black mark during his 5-year rule as Congress CM, Siddharamaiah said he is still unable to digest the fact that the voters of Chamundeshwari constituency rejected him, despite introducing a host of welfare schemes for the poor. Wondering why the people of Chamundeshwari constituency rejected him despite having served it many times in the past, Siddharamaiah said that he was pained to know that the beneficiaries of his schemes too did not vote for him in the last Assembly polls.
Maintaining that he contested from Chamundeshwari as he was indebted to the constituency, which gave him a political re-birth by electing him in the 2006 by-polls, which had earned nationwide attraction then, the Opposition Leader said he was deeply disappointed by the huge loss in 2018 Assembly polls as he wanted to retire from politics on a winning note from here.
Asserting that he would have continued as CM had Congress secured majority in 2018 polls, Siddharamaiah wondered what his political future would have been had he not won from Badami.
Lashing out at CM B.S. Yediyurappa for reducing the quantity of rice under ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme from 7 kg to 5 kg, Siddharamaiah wondered whether the poor would have survived the COVID-19 induced lockdown had he not introduced ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme for the poor.
Slamming former CM and JD(S) strongman H.D. Kumaraswamy (HDK) for blaming him for the collapse of the Coalition Government, Siddharamaiah rubbished Kumaraswamy’s claims saying that he (HDK) alone was responsible for the collapse through his deeds. Calling upon the party workers to shed their differences and get united to defeat BJP-backed candidates in the GP polls, he said that the victory of Congress-backed candidates was crucial for the party to win the next Assembly polls.
Accusing BJP of non-performance and empty rhetorics, he wanted Congress workers to reach out to the people in every nook and corner in order to sensitise them on the failures of the BJP Governments both at the State and the Centre.
District Congress President Dr. B.J. Vijaykumar, KPCC Women’s Wing President Dr. Pushpa Amarnath, MLAs Dr. Yathindra Siddharamaiah and Anil Chikkamadu, former MLAs M.K. Somashekar, K. Venkatesh and Kalale Keshavamurthy, former MP R. Dhruvanarayan, MLC R. Dharmasena, leaders Mavinahalli Siddegowda, K. Harish Gowda,Ravishankar, Gurupadaswamy and others were present.