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Siddaramaiah’s MLA son Yatindra wants him to contest 2023 Assembly polls from Varuna

Currently, Yatindra Siddaramaiah represents Varuna Assembly constituency, a seat his father had vacated for him in 2018. “Whenever he (Siddaramaiah) contested from Varuna, he assumed power," Yatindra pointed out.

Karnataka, Covid-19, Karnataka vaccination, Siddaramaiah, Karnataka congress, indian express, Indian express news, Bengaluru news, Karnataka covid vaccinationCongress leader Siddaramaiah (File photo)

For close to a year now, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has kept his options open regarding the constituency he would contest from in the Assembly elections scheduled in April next year. With just four months left for the polls, this indecision has led to speculations about his lack of confidence in winning from “any constituency of the state” in what Siddaramaiah claims – as he has in the past – will be his last election.

However, his son Yatindra Siddaramaiah’s remarks less than a week ago have bolstered speculations that the Leader of the Opposition could be contesting from Varuna constituency. Currently, Yatindra represents Varuna Assembly constituency, a seat his father had vacated for him in 2018. “If he comes to Varuna and wins, there is a chance that he will become CM. Whenever he contested from Varuna, he assumed power,” Yatindra said. “So, we wish that he contests from here.”

Prior to the 2018 polls, Siddaramaiah had exuded confidence that the Congress would return to power, but had to suffer loss of face as he narrowly won one of the two constituencies he contested from. While he lost by 36,042 votes to G T Devegowda of the JD(S) in Mysuru district’s Chamundeshwari constituency, Siddaramaiah just scraped through at Badami constituency in Bagalkot district, winning by just 1,696 votes against BJP candidate B Sriramulu.

Over the past year, Siddaramaiah has asserted that his options are open as people from various constituencies were requesting him to contest. The claims were interpreted as his attempts to test the waters in those constituencies before taking the plunge. Hebbal, Badami, Chamarajpet and, more recently, Kolar were floated as options.

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Congress insiders are of the view that Yatindra offering to vacate his seat after just one election was a sign that Siddaramaiah could be back in Varuna. “Chances of him winning Badami again is very less. Urban constituencies such as Hebbal and Chamarajpet will also be tough for him. Though he hinted at contesting from Kolar, that would be a mistake as the Congress feels that fielding K Srinivas Gowda – who was expelled from JD(S) this year for violating the party whip in the Rajya Sabha polls – would be more prudent.

An eight-time MLA, Siddaramaiah has represented Chamundeshwari constituency five times, Varuna twice and Badami once.

This dilly-dallying over his constituency for the next election is expected to give Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K Shivakumar an edge as the two leaders are locked in a battle for the post of chief minister, provided the Congress secures a majority in 2023.

First published on: 04-12-2022 at 19:00 IST
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